Discussions underway for the futsal’s league format

Monday, August 29, 2016, 14:30


Gavin Muscat

The Futsal Malta Association (FMA) took note of all comments on social media and other feedback following a recent meeting with its stakeholders. FMA took note of the feedback received from clubs, and the following best balanced option, for the benefit of the game in general, i.e. not to lose the highly setup elite teams and to attract as many amateur teams as possible, was given:

1. Each team will be asked to select his status – Amateur or Elite

2. Amateur will imply registration of amateur players only and no eligibility for futsal cup

3. Elite will imply registration of semi/professional + amateur players and eligibility for futsal cup

4. Subject to elite clubs not exceeding 4, all teams will then be split into two sections, with elite teams seeded.

5. Two rounds of competitive games are played with following rules:

Elite vs Elite – 2+2 foreigner rule,

Elite vs Amateur – 1+3 rule (i.e. only one foreigner on the court allowed)

6. In the final classification table, Elite will be treated as Non-league, so from the first three places in the table, the elite team/s is/are taken off and the top two amateur teams compete in the Amateur League play-offs (therefore not taking anything from the amateur chances of winning something) – if Elite team/s do not qualify for top three places, the team loses opportunity to play in elite play offs for Futsal Cup.

7. Amateur playoffs will be between 4 teams (top 2 amateur teams from each division)

8. Elite play-offs will be between all those selecting this status (in case of odd number a mini league will be played instead) unless they fail to obtain third place in the league.

FMA would have liked a good number of teams to apply for both Elite and Amateur sections but the expression of interest from clubs has showed otherwise.

FMA has both interests of elite and amateurs at heart and so the association will not simply decide the way forward as a question of majority rule. It is evident that it needs to strike a balance between the various interests and aspirations of clubs on different levels and of the game of futsal in general.

Consequently a communication was issued to all clubs in order to confirm FMA’s final position, following which clubs will be asked to confirm and affiliate officially. The format will not necessarily please everybody but FMA will still be proud of having opened a healthy debate and listened to what the futsal’s stakeholders had to say.

Next week a final decision will be taken according to the clubs’ feedback.


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