The Malta Development Bank (MDB), in collaboration with the National Development Fund (NDSF), has provided financial assistance by way of a loan from the MDB and a grant from the NDSF to the Malta Football Association (MFA) as end finance for the construction and completion of the National Football Centre (NFC) at the MFA Training Grounds in Ta’ Qali covering an area of circa 2600 square metres.
The vision of the MFA is to further strengthen its investment to build a stronger foundation, aiming at sustainable and long-term development of Maltese football across all levels, from the community, grassroots, amateurs, women and youths all the way to the elite, clubs and national team selections.
The ad hoc aid measure by the NDSF is in the form of a social grant while the tailored aid measure by the MDB is in the form of a loan with a repayment period of 30 years.
In terms of the Malta Development Act (CAP 574 of the laws of Malta), the MDB is empowered to provide such lending facilities provided that the aid is in accordance with the parameters and criteria as stipulated in Article 56 – “Investment aid for local Infrastructure” and other applicable provisions of Commission Regulation (EU) no. 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty (The General Block Exemption Regulation).
NDSF is established as a government agency under the National Development and Social Fund (Established as an Agency) Order (S.L. 595.12). In carrying out its functions and duties, the Agency can provide support to projects which have a public interest inter alia for the advancement of education, research, innovation, social purposes, justice and the rule of law, employment initiatives, the environment and public health, including, without prejudice to the generality of the forgoing:
Sports and wellbeing are a priority area for the MDB. In pursuit of its mission, the MDB can provide financial support on long-term national projects which have a high social impact.
Its priority is to improve the general wellbeing of our society by funding projects which contribute a high socio-economic benefit, and are:
Of national importance; and
Benefit both present and future generations.
The joint financial support provided by the MDB and the NDSF is necessary to allow the Malta Football Association to embark on a new project to build a state-of-the-art National Football Centre at Ta’ Qali Training Grounds that will serve as a home for all national teams (from youths to senior teams) and will feature the latest in sports science research labs, medical facilities, physiotherapy clinic, gymnasium, dressing rooms, restroom facilities, multifunctional meeting rooms and technical office.
The MFA was founded in 1900, having been the first sports organisation on the Maltese islands, joining FIFA 1959 and UEFA in 1960.
In 1983, MFA entered into an agreement with the Government of Malta for the control and administration of the National Stadium (inaugurated in December 1981). Since then, the MFA endeavoured to improve this Stadium and maintain it to the highest international standards.
The Malta Football Association is the largest sports association in Malta with over 15,000 affiliated members between players, coaches, match officials, administrators, staff, volunteers and other stakeholders who are all part of the domestic football family.
It has 53 member clubs as well as 16 member associations.
The NFC project will provide: