Sydney: Usain Bolt’s Australian football career could come to a premature end after the owners of the Maltese club Valletta FC offered the Olympic champion a two-year contract on Tuesday.
The offer comes mid-way through Bolt’s pre-season trials for Australian league (A-League) club, the Central Coast Mariners, and less than a week after a trial match performance which netted the sprinter two goals, reports Xinhua news agency.
Behind the offer is the newly appointed management of Valletta, including chief executive officer Ghasston Slimen who said, “a champion is always welcome and at Valletta FC we believe nothing is impossible.”
Valletta competes in the top tier of the Malta domestic football league and has expressed aspirations of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season.
“We will treat him as a player, we will have him training specifically without media and he’s not going to be treated as a runner, he will be treated as a footballer,” Slimen told the national broadcaster.
“We want to offer him a two-year contract so he will relax, and so he knows he won’t be going anywhere.”
Bolt has drawn record crowds to his appearances with the Mariners which the club says should qualify him for the ‘marquee player’ fund from the Football Federation Australia (FFA), a potential incentive to keep Bolt in Australia.
However, the FFA says the fund will only be used for its intended purpose of attracting proven world-class players to the A-League.