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Robert Micallef vows to put clubs at the heart of MFA presidency bid

Robert Micallef has decided to contest for the post of MFA president in this month’s elections after hearing the plea of several member clubs and associations for the need for change in how football is developed in Malta and is basing his presidency on integrity, transparency and accountability.

The Santa Lucia president was speaking to the media during a news conference where he launched his bid for the top seat at the local governing body of football where he will go head to head with incumbent Bjorn Vassallo at the elections in the General Assembly on March 15.

“I always had the dream that one day I would fill the highest role in Maltese football,” Micallef said.

“Maybe not in this election, but in the past weeks, I was contacted by several clubs and member associations for the need for change in how the game is managed here in Malta.

“I believe that it’s time for a change in leadership and someone with renewed motivation to take football forward.

“As a club president I feel at first hand the struggles clubs are facing at the moment and I am determined to implement a strategy for change that will put the association’s members at its core.”

Micallef said that should he receive the club delegates’ approval to take charge of the MFA his administration will be based on three pillars, namely integrity, transparency and accountability.

“It’s clear that there is a great need for change so that Maltese football reaches higher standards,” Micallef said.

“As MFA president I will be making sure that the association is for all the stakeholders of the game.

“I believe that integrity, transparency and accountability are key components in football management.

“A lot of reforms have been done to ensure good governance but many of them remained just on the paper and were never put into practice.

“I vow that I will lead by example and make sure that everyone will adopt the same approach.”

Micallef said that as part of his commitment to excellence and informed decision-making an MFA Strategic Team will be formed.

“This team will be composed of highly-respected individuals from the football community, including former players, coaches and administrators,” he said.

“The role of this team will be to advise the president on strategic matters and provide invaluable insight, recommendations and guidance on key decisions related to football development, competitions, coaching programmes and player pathways.”

Micallef said that he wants that the operation of the MFA will be continuously assessed and to this end, a new independent Governance and Compliance Committee will be formed.

“This body will be formed as part of our commitment to uphold the highest standards of governance and accountability in the MFA,” he said.

“This committee will serve as a watchdog, providing rigorous oversight and supervision over the president and the entire organisation to ensure that good governance principles are implemented all the time.”

Key roles

Micallef said that his vision is that the MFA Executive Committee will democratically be composed of all stakeholders of the game and revealed

plans of installing three key roles.

“To streamline operations and ensure robust support to the president, the MFA will appoint a Financial Director, Administrative Director and Football Strategy Director,” he said.

“The Financial Director will provide expertise in financial management and ensure the association’s financial affairs are handled with prudence and transparency.

“The Administrative Director will oversee administrative functions, including human resources, logistics and general operations, to promote organisational efficiency.

“The Football Director will bring specialised knowledge and experience in football development, coaching education and player development and elevate our football programmes and pathways.”

Micallef said that he plans to set up an international office dedicated to fostering international relations, seeking investments, and fostering co-operation with the global football community.

“To reach higher levels we need to increase our revenue and to do that we need to set up collaborations with international entities,” Micallef said.

“The importance of exploring EU funding opportunities to increase financial support for the MFA and its member clubs is essential. An EU Funding Office will be launched and will be responsible for actively researching and identifying EU funding opportunities relevant to football development initiatives.”

As regards facilities and infrastructure, Micallef said that there are not enough stadia to host competitive matches.

“To this aim the MFA will identify pitches to ensure they meet the required standards to host competitive matches from lower divisions.

“One clear example is the ground in Sannat, Gozo, which I believe with a bit of investment will be available to host such matches,” Micallef said.

“On the other hand, the renovation of the National Stadium is important but I also believe in prioritising issues that address the immediate needs of our football family. While redevelopment of the National Stadium remains on the agenda, we must be realistic and focus more on more pressing matters.” 

As regards the youth sector, Micallef has vowed to create a task force to conduct a qualitative analysis report on the state of nurseries.

“The task force will serve as a roadmap for reform, guiding the implementation of targeted initiatives to enhance coaching standards, infrastructure, talent identification, and player pathways,” he said.

As regards the national teams’ technical project, Micallef said: “We are committed to implementing a plan focused on improving our national team’s FIFA rankings. This plan will involve careful analysis, long-term vision, and sustainable strategies aimed at achieving measurable progress over time.

“We will invest in the right choices for our national team, prioritising player development, coaching excellence, and upgrades that contribute to improved performance on the field.”

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