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Maltese clubs to receive over €100,000 in Development Pot benefits

Valletta and Floriana were the two Premier League clubs who had the highest number of appearances from homegrown players. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Season 2021-22 came into focus at the meeting of the Malta FA Executive Board, held on Tuesday afternoon at the Centenary Hall.

In the top division, almost €50,000 will be paid out to the clubs with Floriana FC and Valletta FC leading the way with 35 and 32 appearances by homegrown players aged Under 21 respectively in the 2021-22 BOV Premier League.

The clubs in the BOV Challenge League will receive more than €30,000 between them with San Ġwann FC topping the chart with a total of 74 appearances by Under-19 players followed by Pietà Hotspurs with 65.  

In the BOV National Amateur League, Qormi FC and Santa Venera Lightnings were the clubs that fielded most U-19 players with 65 and 42 appearances respectively while the total amount to be paid in compensation for this division will be also more than €30,000.

The global sum to be paid to domestic clubs across the three divisions for season 2021-22 is €111,000.

Introduced in season 2018-19, the Development Pot is aimed at promoting homegrown talent by encouraging clubs to afford more playing time to young players.

This development scheme will be further enhanced from season 2023-24 when it will become mandatory for clubs in the top divisions of the national league to field young homegrown players in their starting eleven.

At the start of the meeting, Malta FA president Bjorn Vassallo congratulated 2021-22 BOV Premier League champions Hibernians FC, Floriana FC, winners of the IZIBET FA Trophy, Birkirkara FC, BOV Women’s League champions, and the winners and promoted teams in all the senior categories, women’s competitions, youth competitions, junior competitions organised for the first time by the Inħobb il-Futbol Foundation, and the futsal competitions, hosted by the Futsal Malta Association.

Commenting on the 2021-22 domestic competitions, Vassallo said: “On a positive note, this is the first time since 2019 that we have been able to conclude the domestic competitions as planned as the previous two seasons were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions.

“I am pleased that, collectively and to the delight of the fans, we have managed to bring the two main senior competitions to a successful conclusion with the events at the Tony Bezzina Stadium, when Hibernians FC were crowned champions, and the FA Trophy final played last Sunday at the National Stadium.”

For season 2022-23, the BOV Premier League will revert to a total of 14 participating teams, the BOV Challenge League will comprise 18 teams and the National Amateur League will be contested by 21 teams.

The target start dates of the 2022-23 championships are as follows:

BOV Premier League: August 20; BOV Challenge League/National Amateur League – August 27; Women’s League – September 13-14; National Youth League – August 29; Women’s Under-21 league – September 17.

JUNE INTERNATIONAL WINDOW

At international level, the senior national team is currently preparing for their commitments in June. 

The Executive Board was informed that Malta will be kicking off their June schedule with a home friendly on June 1.

The Malta FA president explained that the potential opponents for friendly matches are very limited as most of the other nations will be involved in competitive fixtures on the opening matchday of the June international window while Malta has two ‘free’ slots since we have been drawn in a group of three teams instead of four in the UEFA Nations League.

The opponents will be announced shortly.

The friendly match is part of Malta’s preparations, led by head coach Devis Mangia, for the opening UNL Group D2 fixtures – away to San Marino on June 5 followed by home encounters with Estonia (June 9) and San Marino (June 12).

Vassallo explained about the candidacy of FIFA president Gianni Infantino for the 2023 presidential election and proposed that the Malta FA should endorse Infantino’s candidacy for re-election.

In view of this, the Malta FA Executive Board unanimously agreed to officially support Infantino’s candidacy to stay at the helm of FIFA.

At administrative level, the Malta FA’s next General Assembly will be held on July 15.

The presentation ceremony of the Malta FA awards will take place on the same day, immediately after the end of the General Assembly.

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