Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations, addressed a press conference highlighting the main details of Fiorentina ACF visit to Malta for their winter break training camp, followed by two matches against Gzira Utd and Hibernians.

Minister Mizzi said that it is an honour to host popular Italian Serie A football team, ACF Fiorentina here in Malta and it is also very positive to see them play against the two current top teams in the Maltese Premier League table. Whilst wishing the Serie A team best of luck for the second part of the season, Minister Mizzi explained how Malta is establishing itself as an all-year-round Mediterranean destination of excellence, with much to offer. He added that besides hosting world-class events for all ages and its natural and cultural offering, Malta is an ideal destination for football training camps due to our facilities, hotels and resorts, language, distance and climate.

Finally Minister Mizzi thanked the Malta Tourism Authority for its support in attracting and supporting this event, which is part of the authority’s coordinated plan to attract professional football training camps. These events have been successful and generated between 10,000 and 12,000 bed nights every year in the months of January, February and March. The Minister concluded by saying that there are a number of similar events confirmed and others being reviewed, that will surely generate interest with the local and international sport enthusiasts.

Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima stated that after last year’s success visit of Dutch team PSV Eindhoven and other teams including polish team Legia Warsaw, Fiorentina’s visit shall be another accomplishment since our country has the ideal ecosystem to host such high level events including high quality pitches, good standard of accommodation, good weather all year round, a fantastic atmosphere and have many people that follow the football game.

In recent years the number of requests deriving from important European Clubs to organise training camps have significantly increased in Malta. To support this increase in demand, we decided to continue improving our facilities to be in the position to continue hosting more clubs and continue develop this market, said Grima.

Present for the press conference was also ACF Fiorentina Coach, Stefano Pioli, ACF Fiorentina Vice-President, Gino Salica and ex-legendary player Giancarlo Antognoni, now part of the club’s management, whom all exchanged words of praise on Malta’s hospitality, training facilities, the beauty of our country and the professionalism of the Maltese Government.

Gzira UTD Coach, Darren Abdilla and Hibernians Coach, Stefano Sanderra, who also addressed the press conference, both expressed their satisfaction in playing against Serie A giants and defined it as an excellent experience for their team, players and supporters.

Source: Office of the Prime Minister