Bjorn Vassallo has risen through the ranks of Maltese and international football
Bjorn Vassallo, the director of FIFA’s European football associations, has thrown his hat in the ring for the post of president of the Malta Football Association.
Vassallo, 39, cut his teeth in football administration with amateur club San Ġwann FC back in 1996, when he was only 16 years old. He was later appointed Chief Executive Officer of the MFA, a post he held for three years, and eventually became secretary general of the football association.
“This is an important decision for me and I believe that my candidature is a strong one on the basis of experience and competency having gone through all the levels in football administration,” Vassallo said when announcing his bid.
“I have a detailed strategic plan that aims to take our beloved game to a whole new level both at club and international stage. I will be launching my official campaign in the coming days and look forward to a month of healthy campaigning for the good of Maltese football.”
During his tenure as secretary general, the MFA invested a handsome €30 million in club facilities and stadium infrastructure, to boost youth development.
In 2016, Vassallo left the MFA when he landed a prestigious job as FIFA Director for European football associations, a job which involves catering to the needs of UEFA’s 55 member associations and working with them on the governance and development of football in Europe.
The Maltese football guru has also held posts on UEFA’s Player Status Committee and National Teams Competitions Committee. He worked as a venue director and match commissioner in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions.
He was a venue director posted in Nice at the EURO 2016 Championship and was most recently part of the FIFA team at the successful 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Locally, Vassallo also chaired the organising committee for the 2014 UEFA U17 Championship in Malta and was involved in the Maltese beach soccer championships and several international football events at grassroots and youth level.
He has also taken a strong stance against corruption in football and, as chairman of the Anti-Corruption & Transparency Experts task force, he successfully pushed forward legal changes to clamp down on match-fixing.
The next President will be elected at the MFA’s upcoming Annual General Meeting and will replace Norman Darmanin Demajo, who has occupied the position since 2010.
Vassallo now hopes to take Maltese football forward together with all the other stakeholders involved in the beautiful game.