Malta celebrates 60 years of international football
On February 24, 1957, Malta played its first-ever official match
Things were looking dour for Malta, with the Austrians racing into a 3-0 lead at the Empire Stadium.
But goals by Tony Cauchi and Sammy Nicholl brought the score back to a more respectable 3-2 and ensured Malta's first-ever official football match was an entertaining one.
Almost six decades have passed since that match on February 24, 1957, and the Malta Football Association is commemorating the occasion with a reception in honour of surviving members of that 1957 national side. The veteran heroes of the squad will receive gifts and mementos as part of the evening.
MFA vice-president Matthew Paris gave details of the 60th-anniversary celebrations at a press conference today.
The association unveiled a 60th anniversary logo, with a video feature commemorating the game due to be shown for the first time during next week’s social event at the National Stadium.
Other activities and initiatives include a commemorative publication and visits by members of the national squads to hospitals and children homes under the MFA's Football For Life programme.
Sixty years of international football has also been selected as the main theme of this season’s MFA Awards, to be held in May, and will feature prominently in the build-up to the eagerly-awaited World Cup qualifier against England on September 1, 2017.