Malta FA Council endorses Vassallo’s strategic plan

Published: 12-08-2019 18:15
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The Council of the Malta Football Association convened on Monday for the first time since the 2019 Annual General Meeting. One of the key items on the meeting’s agenda was the adoption of the strategic plan for the Malta FA in line with the Vision 2027 document presented by Bjorn Vassallo who was elected President of the Association at the last AGM on July 20. Vassallo outlined the main pillars of the comprehensive strategic plan which is essentially designed to ensure that, over the next eight years, Maltese football makes a leap in quality at a playing level while also boosting its commercial potential. “This document will be transformed into a fully-fledged strategy and, as far as Maltese sports is concerned, the authorities have also pledged their full support for robust strategic plans submitted by national sports associations,” Vassallo told the assembly. “It is imperative for us is to implement this strategic plan and leave a lasting legacy for Maltese football, something I’ve seen materialising in other countries during my working spell with FIFA.” At its last meeting on Friday, Malta FA Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the strategic plan proposed by Vassallo. The Council confirmed its backing as the plan was formally adopted. One of the first significant moves made by the Malta FA administration under Vassallo’s leadership is to appoint a Strategy Officer whose main priority is to oversee the implementation of the strategic plan. Dr Dawn Aquilina will take up the role of Malta FA Strategy Officer. Dr Aquilina holds a Ph.D in Sports Policy and, for eight years, worked at the Lausanne-based Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP) where she was responsible for managing UEFA courses, including the Diploma in Football Management (DFM) and Certificate in Football Management (CFM). More news from the Malta FA Council meeting on Monday... ORGANISATIONAL SET-UP The Malta FA is in the process of reviewing its organisational set-up to ensure that it is well-equipped to implement the strategic plan and address future challenges. The organisational set-up will comprise two main areas – administrative and sporting. Furthermore, four Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) are being created to fulfil a set of specific objectives set out in the Association’s growth plan. The four SPVs are MFA SportsPlus, MFA FinancePlus, Inħobb il-Futbol Foundation and one to manage the project of participating with a professional team competing in the Italian football championship. FIFA AND UEFA MESSAGES Gianni Infantino and Aleksander Čeferin, the presidents of FIFA and UEFA respectively, have sent letters of congratulations to Bjorn Vassallo following his election as President of the Malta FA. In his message, FIFA head Infantino paid tribute to Vassallo’s knowledge, leadership and experience in football. “Your knowledge, leadership and experience as former MFA Chief Executive Officer and General Secretary and notably as FIFA Director of Member Associations for Europe since 2016, when you decided to join FIFA, will certainly have a huge impact on the development of our beautiful game in your country,” Infantino wrote. Čeferin, the UEFA President, said Vassallo’s step-up to Malta FA President was natural. “Words of football wisdom are not needed for you,” Čeferin wrote in his message to Vassallo. “You are a life-long and passionate football fan, and you return to your home country to lead the MFA with broad experience and knowledge under your belt. As the former MFA General Secretary, your step-up to President is natural and you can be a decisive leader, already very familiar with Maltese football and its enormous potential for growth and development.”  SOCIAL DIALOGUE MEETINGS – TRANSFER PARAMETERS Dr Angelo Chetcuti, the Malta FA General Secretary, gave an update on the the discussions at the Social Dialogue Committee meetings, focusing mostly on the movement of out-of-contract players and compensation mechanisms. Dr Chetcuti said that FIFA had sent a letter to the Malta FA asking for more information about the transfer paramater system and the legal basis of such system. In its reply, the Malta FA stated that significant progress has been made on this issue during the meetings of the Social Dialogue Committee whichbrings together representatives of clubs and players to discuss matters of mutual interest. FIFA has acknowledged the importance of the discussions on this matter by the Social Dialogue Committee whose members have agreed in principle that the transfer parameter fees for out-of-contract players, which were significantly reduced in 2015, should be removed altogether.  DARMANIN DEMAJO NAMED HONORARY PRESIDENT Former Malta FA president Norman Darmanin Demajo has been appointed Honorary President of the Association in recognition of his contribution to Maltese football. Darmanin Demajo served as Malta FA President for nine years between 2010 and 2019 stepping down from his post at the end of his third three-year term at the last AGM. Previously he also had a spell as Treasurer of the Association. Former Malta FA Vice-President Alex Manfrè, who also occupied the role of Treasurer in the past, has been named Honorary Member following a total of nineteen years in these roles.  AMNESTY In keeping with tradition, Bjorn Vassallo has granted an amnesty to players and officials with pending suspensions originating from all competitions organised by the Malta FA and its Member Associations. The amnesty, which has been granted to mark the election of a new Malta FA President, does not apply to sanctions related to match-fixing, integrity and doping.