Football in Malta
Football is the most popular sport in Malta. 11,400 footballers (including 6,500 youth players and 200 women), 250 coaches and 206 referees (including 6 women referees) are registered with the Malta Football Association. After the opening of the national association's technical centre, a football school was set up in 1986 by Father Hilary Taglieferro. The most talented players in age groups from U-6 and U-14 are gathered together every year for training sessions with one full-time and six part-time coaches. The technical department falls directly under the responsibility of the national association's executive committee and is headed by Horst Heese of Germany. Four times a week, his compatriot and Malta national coach Sigfried Held assembles all the national team players not playing abroad for training sessions to supplement the coaching they receive with their clubs. Malta's most famous footballer, Carmel Buttusil of Sliema Wanderers, has made a record 113 appearances for his country.
The first Goal Project
In December 1997, the Malta Football Association (MFA) and the Maltese Government signed an agreement transferring the ownership of the national stadium in Ta'Qali to the MFA until 2046. Since the east stand was in a serious state of disrepair, it was demolished and replaced by a new construction with a 5,000 capacity. The scheme was part-financed by the Goal Programme. The new stand opened in May 2002. It boasts a swimming pool, fitness room and restaurant in its interior. All these facilities are available for hire by outside parties and together with the adjoining technical centre (with playing surfaces, fitness studio, medical clinic, conference room, accommodation and restaurant), the MFA now has a football infrastructure to be proud of.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Renovation of stands in the national stadium, Ta'Qali
Project approved
4 March 2002
Opened on 3 September 2002
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 NA USD 3,130,000 Others (credit) USD 3,870,000 Government Land Total cost USD 7,400,000