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UEFA solidarity payments distributed to youth nurseries

MFA president Bjorn Vassallo (right) with Fr Hilary, Honorary president and founder of the Youth FA. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

The Malta FA Training Grounds were buzzing with activity on Saturday morning as over 320 children grasped the opportunity to play on the natural turf pitches in Ta’ Qali.

All the focus was on grassroots football as the Malta Football Association, the Inħobb il-Futbol Foundation (IFF), and the Youth Football Association came together to organize the annual Under-7 festival.

A total of 33 nurseries took part in this year’s event which showcased their sterling work and fundamental role in the football ecosystem.

As in recent years, the annual UEFA solidarity payments were distributed to the local youth nurseries during this popular activity.

Bjorn Vassallo, the president of the Malta FA, was joined by Fr Hilary Tagliaferro, Honorary President and Founder of the Youth FA, as the young hopefuls graced the pitches, their passion and enthusiasm contributing to the lively atmosphere.

“These events underline the importance of investing in the youth pathway which is essential for our children to develop character-wise in parallel with their footballing education and growth,” Vassallo said.

“The Malta FA, together with the Inħobb il-Futbol Foundation and the Youth FA, remain fully committed to investing in the infrastructure and talent development programs to strengthen the grassroots sector.”

While thanking the Malta FA president for his and the association’s commitment to sustaining the investments in grassroots, Fr Hilary said: “This annual occasion reminds me of the best days of my life as a young kid who loved playing football.

“Football has given me everything and I wish that all these children experience this happiness through their passion for the game. My appeal to the parents is to refrain from putting pressure on their children, football is about fun so let them enjoy themselves.”

The children embraced this experience as they took part in mini-games and engaged with fellow football enthusiasts from other nurseries, also enjoying a taste of playing on the famed pitches that regularly host the training sessions of our national football selections. Coaches from the IFF, together with staff members of the Youth FA and the Technical Centre monitored the proceedings.

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