Birkirkara to host CLeague qualifiers

Sunday, June 17, 2012, 7:23

Women’s football in Malta wrote a new chapter in its annals yesterday after it was confirmed that Birkirkara FC had been chosen as one of four hosts of the qualifying round mini-tournaments from UEFA’s 2012/13 Champions League.

Birkirkara, winners of the national title three times in the last four years, are no newcomers to this prestigious women’s competition but it will be the first time that matches will be played on our shores.

The mini-tournament in Malta is scheduled for August 11-16.

An elated Joe Zammit, the Birkirkara FC president, told a news conference that hosting the qualifying round will be of huge benefit to the local game.

“We are delighted to have been entrusted with the organisation of this tournament,” he said.

“When the club came up with the idea to stage the qualifying round here we found a lot of support from the Malta Football Association and the Ministry of Finance.

“We believe that the organisation of this tournament will add prestige to our club and enhance the image of women’s football here in general.”

Zammit said that a delegation will be travelling to Nyon on June 28 when the names of the three teams in the same group with the Stripes will be known.

Birkirkara officials are now expected to hold talks with the Malta FA to decide the venue of the tournament even though it is highly likely that matches will be played at the Centenary Stadium.

Birkirkara will be spearheaded by coach Johan Scicluna who is already looking to strengthen his squad.

“We’re thinking to add some new faces and in the coming days we shall also discuss the possibility of signing overseas players for the qualifying round alsone,” he said.

Finance Minister Tonio Fenech congratulated the Stripes on their successful bid.

“It’s a great achievement for this club to play hosts to such a competition. Government has always been behind this bid. In fact, Birkirkara FC will be receiving €45,000 from the Good Causes Fund to help them in the organisation of the tournament.

“We hope that this will turn out to be a success not only in terms of organisation but also in results achieved by Birkirkara FC.”

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