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Preparations for UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 Qualifiers

Posted By Sportinmalta On January 24, 2020 @ 5:43 pm In Featured,Futsal | No Comments

Futsal takes centre-stage between January 29 and February 1, 2020 as a UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 Qualifying Tournament will be staged at the National Sport School in Pembroke. Malta will be facing Greece, Poland and Sweden in Group C.

Tournament details were disclosed during a press conference held on Friday with Malta FA Vice-President Dr Matthew Paris saying that this international event will leave a legacy as it will raise the profile of futsal in Malta.

“At this time last year, we were taking part in the FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group in Sweden but we are now hosting this EURO tournament after our bid was accepted by UEFA,” Dr Paris said.

“We have been saying all along that our long-term objective is to give futsal in Malta a new dimension and organising a high-profile futsal tournament in our country will surely contribute to this aim.

“Hosting such a tournament promises to be not only a positive experience for futsal players and followers, it will also leave a legacy in terms of increasing visibility and generating greater interest in this sport.”

Dr Paris expressed his gratitude to Robert Magro, the headmaster of the National Sport School, and his staff for their co-operation and assistance.

“Going forward, the Malta FA has plans to build its own futsal facilities as part of our strategy for the growth of this sport,” Dr Paris added.

NATIONAL TEAM’S PREPARATIONS

Dr Paris also spoke about the national team’s preparations and the appointment of Zeljko Anicic as national futsal coach.

“Zeljko Anicic needs no introduction as he has been involved in the local futsal scene for many years,” Dr Paris said.

“After gaining experience in his role as assistant coach, Zeljko has been promoted to national futsal coach. We would like to thank former coach Vic Hermans for his sterling contribution to Maltese futsal.”

The local futsal championship has stopped for a month with the aim of aiding the national team’s preparations for this tournament. Earlier this week, the Malta futsal team played two friendlies against Bulgaria, drawing the first match 2-2 and winning the second one 3-1. In their previous outing, Malta had drawn 3-3 against Armenia.

“These results were important for our team as we did well against a higher-ranked futsal nation but we can’t get carried away because we know that we still have a long way to go,” Dr Paris said.

“The teams in the upcoming tournament will be difficult opponents but these results should lift the confidence of our players and staff.”

FUTURE PLANS

As part of its commitment to improve the level of the national futsal team and widen the pool of futsal players, the Malta FA intends to launch a competition for Under-19 futsal teams this year.

Dr Paris also announced that the Malta FA has put forward a proposal to add futsal to the sports programme of the 2023 Games of the Small States of Europe, to be held in Malta.

Tournament Director Mark Borg spoke about the logistical aspects of next week’s UEFA Futsal EURO tournament which will be spread over a four-day period with two games on every matchday on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

“An international tournament entails a significant effort but the Malta FA’s International Department have got the knowledge and experience of hosting events of this scale,” Borg said.

“Futsal has huge potential and it’s our intention to use this qualifying tournament as a springboard to host more futsal events and attract more people to play and follow this sport.”

Borg believes that the choice of the National Sport School as the venue of this tournament is a plus for our national team as the players are familiar with this court since the Elite Futsal League matches are played there.

Finally, Borg appealed to the Maltese public to follow the UEFA Futsal EURO Tournament and give their full support to the national team.


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