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Birkirkara FC To Host 1st UEFA Women’s Champions League Qualifier

 - Sports - Sep 4 2023 SHARE ON:
Birkirkara FC To Host 1st UEFA Women's Champions League Qualifier

In recent years, Maltese teams have been working hard to improve, and now Birkirkara FC has a golden opportunity to raise awareness of women’s football in Malta as they will be hosting the first qualifying round of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Birkirkara FC is in Group 11 and will play against ZFK Breznica from Montenegro.

The winner of that match will then face FC Zurich Frauen from Switzerland. The first match against Breznica is on September 6, 2023, at 18:00hrs. The second match follows three days later. Both games will happen at the Centenary Stadium.

This is the second time Malta is hosting this round of the competition. Birkirkara had the honor back in August 2012, becoming the first Maltese club to do so.

Participation in the UEFA Women’s Champions League

In Malta, currently only the winner of the league qualifies for the UEFA Women’s Champions League. This will be Birkirkara’s 10th season in the competition, and their sixth consecutive appearance. Over the years, the Stripes have come close to securing their first-ever point on multiple occasions, but they ended up losing the matches by a one-goal margin.

Notably, this happened against SU 1 Dezembro of Portugal and Olimipia Ljubljana of Slovenia, in the latter, the decisive goal was being conceded in the last kick of the game. However, the breakthrough came during the 2018-2019 season when they managed to secure a draw against Cardiff Met of Wales with a 2-2 score. Raina Giusti and Ylenia Carabott were the scorers for the Stripes.

A record for Maltese football – the first ever win in the UEFA Women’s Champions League

Last season, the team achieved a remarkable milestone that etched a new chapter in Maltese history. On Sunday, August 21, 2022, the Stripes staged a remarkable comeback to secure a victory against Glentoran FC from Northern Ireland. Raina Giusti and Charlene Zammit scored a goal each, marking a historic moment as the first-ever victory for a Maltese club in this prestigious competition.

The Opponents

Birkirkara’s opponents are ŽFK Breznica from Pjevlja, Montenegro. The team was founded in 2013 and achieved its first championship during the 2015-2016 season. Since then, they have clinched the championship title every consecutive season, amassing a total of seven championships. The team primarily consists of Montenegrin players, and they have been notably active this summer, bolstering their squad by securing signings such as Anja Simonovic, Mia Baturan, Katarina Cadjenovic, and Sanja Nedic. Notably, Sanja Nedic has transferred from Bosnian champions FK Sarajevo.

In the event that the Stripes triumph over Breznica, they will face an even more formidable challenge in the form of FC Zürich Frauen.

Preparations underway

The draw poses a formidable challenge for the Stripes; however, the Maltese Champions are diligently gearing up for the task at hand. Led by Jose Borg, a holder of the UEFA ‘PRO’ coaching qualification, who has extended his contract for another year following his arrival at the club last season, there’s a clear commitment to the team’s ongoing development. They initiated their pre-season preparations in mid-July, setting their course for progress and their preparations are now in its crucial stages.

Mr. Borg is supported by fitness coach Mr. Nigel McCarthy, who has established a comprehensive strength and conditioning program to enhance the players fitness level. This initiative is bolstered by the backing of the club’s sponsor, Fort Fitness, which has generously extended its support to the team for the second consecutive year.

The Club is poised for several changes in its squad, including the addition of a fresh set of foreign players including of American duo namely Caitlin Rogers and Arianna Del Moral together with Uruguayan midfielder Edith Garcia. The club also managed to sign Maltese prolific scorer, Francesca Chircop.

 

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Tickets

Tickets for this match can be bought from Intersport in Qormi, online from https://tickets.mfa.com.mt/ or at the door before the match for the price of €5. Your support makes a difference to help this Maltese club extend their string of positive results in this competition!

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Stunning Exposure Of Maltese Islands On Polish TV

 - International - Sep 4 2023 SHARE ON:
Stunning Exposure Of Maltese Islands On Polish TV

The stunning beauty and rich cultural tapestry of the Maltese Islands are currently the subject of a Polish TV program spanning over 10 captivating episodes. 

Each episode of Eska on the Beach is broadcast on Eska TV in Poland to an audience of around 7 million people, and serves as an immersive window into the beauty and gems of the Maltese Islands, and is a collaboration between the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA Warsaw) and Eska TV.

Each episode of the current series traverses the Maltese archipelago from its hidden treasures to its storied history. Presented by renowned Polish celebrity Ola Ciupa, the TV series in Malta was shot earlier in the year and is currently being broadcast on Eska TV till the end of August. Re-runs of the series will commence in early 2024, bringing the promotion of the Maltese Islands to a projected audience of around 5 million people in total across both runs.

The Malta episodes of Eska on the Beach focus on history & culture, gastronomy, agritourism, village feasts, faith tourism, active holidays, sun & sea, family holidays, clubbing & nightlife, leisure, luxury and Screen tourism. Two additional episodes totally dedicated to the promotion of Gozo as a distinct destination, also features in the show.

 

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Accompanying the episodes filmed in Malta is a promotional campaign on the network’s social media which have a combined reach of over 1.6 million people.

The Regional Director of the Malta Tourism Authority for Poland, Eastern Europe and The Baltics Jimmy Attard stated: “These great episodes on Polish TV clearly highlight the key unique selling propositions of our Islands and why the Maltese islands are marketed as an all year-round destination. We will continue with our untiring marketing efforts to register another record year for arrivals from the Polish market.”

Malta Tourism Authority Chief Executive Officer Carlo Micallef commented: “This collaboration with Eska TV allows millions of Polish people, as well as other countries in the region, to embark on a virtual journey to Malta and will surely entice them to visit our Islands.

“The Polish market is one that is carries a lot of potential to be lucrative and is growing in significance year after year. In fact, in the first six months of this year we have registered an increase of 55 % in arrivals over the same period in 2019,” concluded Mr Micallef.

Eska TV is an extension of the multimedia online platform of Radio Eska and is dedicated to lifestyle, music and entertainment programs. It can be watched over the Internet as well as on terrestrial and satellite television. Eska on the Beach is the station’s flagship programme during the summer months.

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10 Years Of Fonzu l-Fenek

 - Local - Sep 4 2023 SHARE ON:
10 Years Of Fonzu l-Fenek

It was around 10 years ago, in 2013, that a giant rabbit wearing pink trousers, pink bowtie and a green waistcoat first appeared on the local scene. 

In a short span of time, Fonzu l-Fenek sang and danced his way into the hearts of Maltese and Gozitan children, and not only. Today, few are those who have not heard of Fonzu l-Fenek, and if you ask people on the street, many will be able to sing the refrain of the Fonzu’s signature song. 

This is hardly surprising given that, since it was uploaded on YouTube, the video of the song has been played more than one million six hundred thousand times… an average of over 400 times a day.

Suzanne Piscopo, a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta, and her husband Michael Piscopo, the brains behind Fonzu l-Fenek, revealed how:

“The aim of the project was to promote the consumption of healthy food among young children, taking into consideration the Maltese context and using the Maltese language where possible.”

“It was at that time that Michael and I thought it would be ideal if the message were delivered via a character that children could relate to. After we did a survey among primary school students, a sort of small-scale election, Fonzu was chosen as the mascot. From that day on, Fonzu l-Fenek never looked back.”

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More Thunderstorms Forecasted For This Week

 - Local - Sep 4 2023 SHARE ON:
More Thunderstorms Forecasted For This Week

According to local weather forecasters, thundery showers are being expected for this upcoming Wednesday, 6th September. 

The weather building up to the mid-week tempest is expected to be mainly sunny with bouts of cloudy weather. However, Wednesday and Thursday are set to bring rain and lightning, similar to last week’s.

The weather for today is expected to have a light windy breeze of Force 3 to 4, with the highest temperature being 31 degrees Celsius and the lowest 22 degrees Celsius. 

However, it wills till feel like 34°C, blending the changing weather towards the rainy and stormy with the summer heat. 

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