The Executive Board will replace the Bureau, the Council and the Executive Committee while the Annual General Meeting would be replaced by the General Assembly which would be held three times a year.
These were among the main highlights of the new statute of the Malta Football Association which were approved during an Extraordinary General Meeting.
Details were given by MFA president Bjorn Vassallo, vice-president Dr Matthew Paris and general secretary Dr Angelo Chetcuti on Tuesday.
The Executive Board will be made up of 24 members – four each representing the Premier League, Challenge League and National Amateur League and eight representing youth football, women, Gozo, Futsal and Beach Soccer, coaches, players and recreational football, apart from the president and three vice-presidents.
On the other hand, the General Assembly, which will meet three times a year, is composed of one delegate for every member club or association for a total of 69 votes.
A first assembly will be held in March/April and will focus on the approval of the Financial Report and the elections for President and Vice-Presidents, every four years; the second in July/August focussing on the approval of the Administrative report and the election of ordinary members of the Executive Board and members of the independent committees and the third in October/November which will be thematic.
Vassallo said the approval of the new statute was a very important milestone for the association – the second one this year following the launch of the MFA strategy back in February.
Vassallo said the association wanted to promote a new style of administration based on democracy, sports justice, investment and accountability and these are all an essential part of the new statute. This was only the first in a chain of reforms, including that of club licensing and corporate restructuring.
He added that UEFA has been pushing for the standardisation of statutes of the different football associations, due to legal issues which crop up from time to time, and Malta is one of the first associations to reform its statute.
“The approval of the new statute was in the interest in football as we had one objective – that football improves at all levels, protecting the game with ethics and integrity,” said Vassallo. “We gave a clear signal that the MFA and its members are favour in long-term stability.”
“All the rules and regulations which were approved over the past months promote a culture of compliance.”
“I would like to express my satisfaction for the consistency and versatility of the MFA, who despite the pandemic, overcame the challenges as a united team. The approval of the new statute is a win which modernises the regulatory framework of football in Malta,” concluded Vassallo.
Dr Matthew Paris said the approval of the statute was the climax of a long process as it entailed long hours of consultations – the largest ever taken by the association as it not only involved internal stakeholders but sought wider feedback by consulting with the general public.
“This wide process of consultation led to several changes. Changes which will make the association more dynamic and proactive. Unlike before when it was not always possible to involve everyone in the discussion, now all stakeholders would be sitting around the same table,” said Dr Paris.
Dr Paris thanked all those involved saying this was an exercise of maturity of both the administration and members who understood the need to change. He pointed out the fact that now even the members who are elected to the Executive Board will be subjected to a thorough eligibility check and due diligence exercise.
“Our doors are wide open for all and this reform is giving a fresh start to the association in the way that it is giving more people the opportunity to participate while making sure of having a solid base for the association for the future.
Dr Angelo Chetcuti said the new MFA statute guaranteed better representation for all stakeholders and accountabilty with more checks and balances in taking decisions.
The president and vice-presidents would have a maximum of three four-year terms in office and as from the next election, one post of vice-president would be reserved for a female candidate.
The MFA General Secretary stressed that the new Statute strengthens further the independence of committees where now members would have to be inactive with any member for at least two years.
Dr Chetcuti added that all decisions taken by any administrative body is subject to a review. Decisions at the Executive Board may be appealed before the Appeals Board while decisions by the General Assembly may be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sports.
Meanwhile anyone seeking redress before the court of justice should make a request to the Appeals Board and such right shall be granted only if claimant proves that he does not have any other effective remedy under the regulations of the association.