Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Malta FA President’s closing speech at 2020 AGM
Jul 29, 2020
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Malta FA President Bjorn Vassallo addressing the AGM. PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Malta FA President Bjorn Vassallo addressing the AGM. PHOTO: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Malta FA President Bjorn Vassallo reiterated his commitment to implementing the technical projects and governance reforms along with the adoption of a new strategy in pursuit of improved standards in all sectors.


Addressing the assembly at the end of today’s Annual General Meeting, Vassallo said that the COVID-19 pandemic is inevitably having a negative impact on football but this will not deter the Association from persisting with its mission.

 

“Just over a year ago, I was addressing you as the new president of the Association and I never imagined that the world would fall to its knees in the face of this pandemic,” Vassallo said.

 

“No-one expected these circumstances but I’m not here today to speak about the negative impact as, with a positive mindset, I am determined to be a worthy leader in these challenging times. However, the events of the last few months are having a devastating effect on people’s lives and activities in general. In view of this, we are duty-bound to exercise caution and be responsible in the decisions and actions we take.

 

“This is an anniversary year for our Association but we would have been far happier if we could celebrate this occasion as we had originally planned. However, in the 120th anniversary year, we have been compelled to dedicate our efforts in a different way rather than come together to commemorate this milestone. This certainly doesn’t mean that we’re throwing in the towel and, all being well, we are planning to organise an event towards the end of the year to celebrate this anniversary in a fitting manner.”

 

The Malta FA President praised the maturity and collaboration of the members of the footballing family in the face of adversity.

 

“In spite of all these difficulties, this was an amazing year where, on a personal level, I learnt a lot about the sense of maturity of those forming part our our structures, the club administrations and the our Member Associations,” Vassallo said.

 

“In moments when there are no given solutions and you are dealing with the unexpected, were it not for the backing and support of the majority of the officials, you’d lose the mental lucidity. Yet, thanks to our collective effort while always respecting the regulations and the democratic process, we were able to take timely decisions. Although not everyone agreed with these decisions, I’m convinced that this were taken in the best interests of our football and what can be deemed as righteous and reasonable.

 

“I would like to thank you for your genuine support in difficult moments. I understand and appreciate your backing as what we had to go through as officials of the Association, you also experienced within your clubs and Associations.”

 

KEY PROJECTS AND STRATEGY

 

Beyond the efforts to address the COVID-19 difficulties, the Malta FA’s work last season continued unabated.

 

“Today’s AGM has shed light on the enormous work carried out at administrative level,” Vassallo said. “My input was more direct so that we could do the necessary rectifications and strategic changes reflected in my manifesto and on the basis of which you voted me in as president. This work enabled the Association to embark on the implementation of projects related to two pillars of high importance to reach better levels in football, both in Malta and Gozo – governance and the technical aspect.

 

“This will ensure that the set objectives will be met and that everyone is aware of the current status and what we would like to achieve. It is for this reason that we are working to have an official strategy document which is expected to be published by the end of October.

 

“It is a process that sees the involvement of UEFA and a wide discussion with local and external stakeholders. The Malta FA strategy is intended to ensure that the established objectives lead to considerable improvement in the operations, administration and the overall performance of the Association. The strategy will be a constant point of reference and guidance to help us achieve the desired results.

 

“The contribution of the three Vice-Presidents, whom I wish to thank for their commitment and dedication will be more focused and we have already discussed their assuming responsibility of specific matters. The aim is to lead, monitor and eventually report about their work on different aspects that have an impact on the local game based on the strategic pillars. Thanks to this process, they will be contributing in a more direct manner towards the needs of the Malta FA.”

 

GOVERNANCE

 

“Thanks to coherent and credible governance, we need to offer and attract better opportunities that guarantee sustainability and efficiency in the footballing sector based on good practices, improved standards and financial stability. This will be achieved through a recently-launched reform which, in its totality, is expected to take 30 months.”

 

The strengthening of our national teams at all levels remains the foremost priority for the Association.

 

“From the moment I decided to put my name forward as President, I’ve always prioritised one thing which, in my opinion, is essential because we are a football association – our national football teams must provide more satisfaction in term of better results on a consistent level,” Vassallo said.

 

“For this to happen, we need to invest in development. This is not a matter of a year or two but with a long-term plan which the Malta FA has established in the last few months.

 

“I had presented three fundamental projects related to the technical part. While the first project has been launched and is progressing well, we are at an advanced stage in our assessment of the second project. We had also carried out substantial work on the third project but were forced to shelve it for the time being due to extraordinary circumstances.

 

“At the Technical Centre, everything now revolves around the principle that our national teams embrace and reflect a unified footballing philosophy that gives us an identity based on the characteristics of our players. We have invested in specialised resources and set important targets because we believe we can do more in the development and technical areas if we implement a working plan devised by the experts.

 

“We must work collectively towards a common objective – build from bottom, be patient and sustain this work with all the resources at our disposal so that the legacy of this adminisration will be to see Malta win.

 

FONDAZZJONI INĦOBB IL-FUTBOL

 

“Complementing the work of the Technical Centre in Ta’ Qali, we will create the Inħobb il-Futbol foundation to boost grassroots, football in schools and women’s football, futsal and beach soccer.

 

“This will also be a transitional year as the Youth FA’ responsibilities will be entrusted to this foundation and through this, we will be implementing a strategy based on performance. The foundation will focus on three different aspects which should lead to greater participation, the pathway from grassroots to elite level, and other important areas from player protection to coaching education.”

 

PUBLIC AFFAIRS

 

The Malta FA President spoke about the Association’s relations with the Government and legislative bodies, stressing that football contributes a lot to the country, socially, health-wise and also economically.

 

“In our relations with the Government and legislative bodies, we have been resilient in asking that promises are delivered. This stems from our firm belief that with greater assistance, we can do more in projects that reap benefits not only for football but the community at large,” Vassallo said.

 

“Football contributes a lot and if this potential is used to the maximum, we can provide an important return from an economical perspective but not only. We can offer the feelgood factor and, in times of anxiety and uncertainty in our lives, we believe that this is a determining factor for the well-being of the society.

 

“The Malta FA remains fully committed to its social mission but not at the expense of the technical aspect which must be the main yardstick for our work.”

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