Minister for Inclusion and Social Wellbeing Julia Farrugia Portelli and Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organizations Clifton Grima, together with MFA President Bjorn Vassallo and FIFA President Giovanni Infantino, inaugurated the first Maltese Football Museum at the Millennium Stand.
The Minister for Inclusion and Social Wellbeing Julia Farrugia Portelli described the Malta Football Association (MFA) as a link in the chain of our country’s glorious history. The MFA is commemorating the 120th anniversary of its founding with the celebrations culminating with the inauguration of the new MFA museum which captures the history of Maltese football. Minister Farrugia Portelli said that the history of our country is highlighted by great events that have contributed greatly, despite the small size of our country, to both European and world history in all its aspects. “The new MFA museum shows most clearly the contribution of our country to this sport,” said Minister Farrugia Portelli.
Expressing satisfaction that the President of FIFA will be discussing bilaterally with the MFA on the development of Maltese football and on how our country can contribute more to the international football community, the minister added that, “Football, like any other sport, can serve as a means of expressing the principle of solidarity. The current campaign against racism and the way the sports world has come together in support of Danish player Christian Eriksen are proof of this.”
Minister Farrugia Portelli thanked the MFA for its work for the benefit of our children and young people through football and wished them more success in the coming years.
Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation and Voluntary Organizations Clifton Grima also thanked the MFA for its invaluable work in Maltese football and among children who aspire to one day also wear the jersey of the Maltese team. The parliamentary secretary said that the opening of this museum is testimony that despite the small size of our country, the history of Maltese football is alive and adorned by beautiful events that have entertained people.
The parliamentary secretary reminded that the work of the MFA is not only recognized locally. Proof of this is the visit to our country by FIFA President Gianni Infantino. The opening of this museum, on the 120th anniversary of the founding of the MFA, fills us with courage and sends a message to our young people who should be proud of what has shaped Maltese football. The parliamentary secretary mentioned that this inauguration confirms the importance of the MFA which is not only limited to football but shows that this association is important in the history of our country.
The parliamentary secretary said that he looks forward to more joint work with the MFA for the wellbeing of both Maltese football and youth. Expressing satisfaction with his visit to Malta, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that this was a special day as the Malta Football Association (MFA) is celebrating its 120th anniversary. In his words, the day he spent in our country, “It goes beyond just a football celebration.” Against the background of the picturesque and historical scenery offered by the Salinos stadium, Mr. Infantino described our country as “unique” and considered it his home.
As the president of the highest international football institution he did not fail to thank the Maltese Government for all the work it is doing with children and young people especially in moments such as these they are currently experiencing.
On his part, MFA President Bjorn Vassallo said that the fact that the Association opens a museum that looks back at its history and Maltese football is a beautiful thing, but that this happens in the presence of FIFA President Gianni Infantino continues to make this moment more special. Mr Vassallo said that a day like yesterday is a demonstration of the progress that football in our country is making and will continue to make in the future, at all levels.