Malta’s national fund which administers money from the sale-of-citizenship scheme has put aside €5 million to train athletes competing at the 2023 Small Nations Games.
With Malta set to host the Games for the first time since 2003, this injection of funds is intended to give local athletes a boost so they can make the country proud on home soil.
A deal was signed today by National Development and Social Fund (NSDF) CEO Raymond Ellul and Sport Malta chairman Luciano Busuttil, with Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Alex Muscat and Parliamentary Secretary for Sports Clifton Grima in attendance.
This money will be administered by the Maltese Olympic Committee, which will then allocate it to sports organisations in the fields of athletics, basketball, judo, rugby, sailing, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis and tennis over the next three years.
Sports organisations will be able to use this money to employ professional coaches and technical staff on a full-time basis, finance the participation of Maltese athletes in international competitions and training sessions and invest in better equipment.
This donation comes as the European Commission ramps up its assault on the Maltese and Cypriot sale of citizenship scheme, threatening to take legal action against them.
Prime Minister Robert Abela has pledged to defend the scheme and to build a strong case for it if it ends up before the European Court of Justice.
Last week, the NSDF donated €8 million to Hospice Malta to help it build the country’s first complex for palliative care patients.