Connect with us


Malta to host LEN Champions Final Four for the next three years

From left: ASA president Karl Izzo, Sports Minister Clifton Grima and LEN president Antonio Silva during the signing of the agreement.

ASA president Karl Izzo signed agreement in the presence of Sports Minister Clifton Grima

The European Aquatics has chosen Malta as the venue of the LEN Champions League Final Four tournament for the next three years after the continental body successfully concluded negotiations with the Aquatic Sport Association of Malta.

“European Aquatics is delighted to announce that the Men’s Water Polo Champions League Final Four competition will be hosted in 2024, 2025, and 2026 in Malta at the National Pool Complex,” the European body said in a statement.

“The bid from the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta (ASA) satisfies all key European Aquatics requirements and has the full support of the Maltese government.

“Contested by the top teams from across Europe, the Champions League (which started in 1963 as the European Cup) is the continent’s most prestigious professional water polo club competition. The spectacular Final Four event provides an exciting climax to the waterpolo season, which runs from September to June, and all eyes will now be on Malta to see who is crowned the next European champions.”

The announcement made by LEN on Thursday is a confirmation of the story published by the Times of Malta which said that the ASA had submitted a bid to organised the prestigious tournament and that they were in advanced talks with the European body to finalise an agreement.

On Tuesday, Clifton Grima, the Minister for Education and Sport, travelled to Zagreb to join ASA president Karl Izzo for the final talks on the bid, and an agreement was reached with top officials from European Aquatics who announced that Malta will now host LEN Champions League Final Four tournament on our islands for the next three years.

Being granted the organisation of Europe’s most popular club tournament in waterpolo is a major achievement for the ASA which will now be hosting a third major aquatic competition in 2024.

Apart from the Champions League Final Four tournament, the local governing body has also been handed the responsibility to organise the World Aquatics U-16 waterpolo World Cup as well as the European Junior Artistic Swimming tournament.

“This is an historic day for the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta after being handed the organisation of the most prestigious waterpolo club competition in Europe,” Izzo told the Times of Malta.

“To be entrusted with the responsibility to host such a huge competition mirrors the faith European Aquatics has in our organisation and we look forward to hosting Europe’s top waterpolo clubs on our islands who I have no doubt will provide a great spectacle for the numerous fans of the sport in Malta.

“I would like to thank Sports Minister Clifton Grima and the Minister for Tourism Clayton Bartolo and SportMalta as without their support this dream would not have come true.”

LEN president Antonio Silva said: “The ASA of Malta has a very strong tradition in waterpolo, and we are absolutely confident in their capabilities to organise a high-level event to the standards of European Aquatics.”

On his first part, LEN First Vice President Josip Varvodic added: “Malta is well known for its love of water polo and the best players from all over the world come to Malta to play in local clubs in the summer league.

“I want to thank Dr Clifton Grima, the Minister of Sport who gave his unconditional support for hosting of this event, and especially the president of ASA Malta, Karl Izzo, who has been living waterpolo his entire life. He will, no doubt, be an excellent host for the Men’s Champions League Final Four.”

Sports Minister Clifton Grima said that this news is a testament to the excellent work done by the government with local sporting associations.

“It is of great satisfaction that our country is being chosen to host major international competitions,” Dr Grima said.

“This shows the great professionalism that we have in this sector, the excellent sporting facilities we boast that are leading our country to be considered as the ideal venue to host these events.”

The LEN Champions League Final Four tournament in Malta will be played between June 6 and 8 at the National Pool in Tal-Qroqq.

At the moment, the LEN Champions League has reached its quarter-final stage with the final eight teams being split into two groups with the top two sides from each section will secure a berth in the 2024 Final Four tournament.

In Group A Serbia’s Novi Belgrade will face three-time defending champions Pro Recco, of Italy, Jadran Split, of Croatia, as well as CN Marseille, of France.

On the other hand, Group B features Spain’s Zodiac Atletic-Barceloneta, Hungary’s FTC Telekom, AN Brescia, of Italy, and Greek side Olympiacos Piraeus.

The first matches of the quarter-final stage will be played on March 8 and 9.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


World Cup News


More in Waterpolo