Keeping in mind, that the average career of a professional football player is approximately only 8 years, and that the absolute vast majority of professional players do not make anywhere near enough money to retire comfortably after football, many players will need a new career by the age of 35 or earlier, this is where education becomes crucial.
With the advent of online learning, and different educational paths available, a professional footballer today, does not have to choose between a football career and his education. In fact both can be easily combined in parallel. The MFPA actively advocates for, both a football career as well as a comprehensive education. This will ensure a smoother transition between careers.
As part of the Life After Football pillar, MFPA has embarked on a number of initiatives namely;
1. FIFPro Online Academy
FIFPro in collaboration with Danish University USN has been offering a Sport Management programme leading to a Bachelor’s degree, since 2011. It has also recently launched a new global initiative with the University of Nicosia (UNIC), that will allow professional footballers to study either, Sport Management leading to a Bachelor’s degree, or a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). Both the degrees from USN and UNIC are online, allowing for the flexibility needed for a player’s hectic schedule.
Any professional footballers in Malta, interested in joining the FIFPro Online Academy will be able to do so with the assistance of the MFPA. There is not tuition cost for EU-Citizens, following a one time registration fee of €300 payable to FIFPro. The fee for non-EU- Citizens is €32,600.
The entry requirements to follow this educational programme are as follows:
- 1(a) The Matriculation Certificate (2 subjects at Advanced Level, three at intermediate level and Systems of Knowledge) as awarded by the University of Malta OR
- 1(b) A VET MQF Level 4 qualification comparable to an MCAST Level 4 qualification with a minimum of 120 ECVET, and
- 2 Applicants will be provided with an online English test (Oxford Placement Test), to ensure an English level that is sufficient for academic purposes.
Should a player not fulfil these academic requirements, an individual evaluation of practical competences based on relevant work experience, will be made. The evaluation will also look at the individual’s involvement in extracurricular activities, as well as any additional proficiency.
2. MFPA Life After Football Scholarship
The idea to set up a Scholarship for football players in Malta had been brewing for quite a while back. MFPA Executive had discussed the challenges they had faced themselves, attempting to juggle school, work, training and a personal life. They observed how some players managed to find a precarious balance, but most did not. They watched fellow team mates with huge potential having to choose between pursuing their football dreams or opting for an alternate career.
MFPA as an association of football players would love to help see more full-time professional players in Malta. However, it is also very conscious of how risky it is to have football as one’s only employable skill. The aim of this Scholarship is to address both these issues. In fact, the MFPA Life After Football Scholarship is designed with the full recognition that:
- - The professional life of a football player is short and uncertain. Unfortunately, a player is only an injury away from his last match.
- - A football player’s athletic ability is directly linked to the amount of time he can dedicate to training. Full-time professionals have the possibility to train twice a day, something which is difficult for players who have another employment.
MFPA identified MCAST and ITS as the ideal partners for this scholarship. Not only because both entities offer varied and rich educational pathways, but also because they do so at the highest professional standards. Both educational institutes were immediately receptive and collaborative from the very first meetings and the terms of agreement were reached without any issues.
Beneficiaries of the Scholarship will be able to study whilst pursuing a full-time football career. The signing of the Memorandum of Association between MFPA, MCAST and ITS is indicative of the entities’ commitment for the provision of flexibility and support to the beneficiaries of the Scholarship. MCAST and ITS have committed themselves to offer courses on a flexible schedule to meet the demands of training schedules and matches.
Applications will be open this coming May 2018. For more information, one may either; contact MFPA on firstname.lastname@example.org
, call on 27135505
or visit MFPA offices at Central Business Centre, Level 1, Tarxien Road, Gudja.