Malta Football Association
Initiatives to promote inclusion of LGBTIQ persons in sports
Apr 17, 2019
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Dr Matthew Paris (third from left) and Dr Helena Dalli during today's press conference. Photo: DOI
Dr Matthew Paris (third from left) and Dr Helena Dalli during today's press conference. Photo: DOI

The Malta Football Association and the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality have embarked on a series of joint-initiatives aimed at promoting equality and diversity in football and sport in general.

These efforts will focus on raising awareness about the acceptance of LGBTIQ persons in football with the campaign, aptly-named ‘Everyone’s Game’, rolling off this week. Several matches from different categories, including the BOV Premier League, women’s competitions and youths, both in Malta and Gozo, will see players and match officials wear rainbow laces while team captains will be donning rainbow-themed armbands.


Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Dr Helena Dalli, the Minister for European Affairs and Equality, stressed that, following the introduction of laws which put Malta at the forefront when it comes to the rights of LGBTIQ persons, the next step is to ensure that these are felt in everday life.


“Football is the most popular sports in our country and therefore the Malta FA can offer the best platform to reach a wide audience,” Dr Dalli said.


“This is being done in the context of the need to address the culture of discrimination that still exists in various forms, not only against LGBTIQ persons but also on the grounds of religion, disability or race.”


Malta FA Vice-President Dr Matthew Paris said the Association has increased its efforts to promote inclusion in football across the board through its Football For Life programme.


“Our doors are wide open when it comes to offering opportunities to everyone to practise and enjoy football,” Dr Paris said.


“The Malta FA has stepped up its efforts in favour of inclusion through our Football For Life programme.


“For many years, the Football For Life programme was mainly about providing financial support to NGOs and those in need but it has since been expanded to encompass several other initiatives in favour of inclusion.”


The Malta FA Vice-President said a case in point is the live audio commentary offered to partially-sighted and blind fans for an enhanced matchday experience at the National Stadium.


Peter Busuttil, from the Malta FA’s Football Social Responsibility Department, said this latest campaign to promote the inclusion of LGBTIQ persons in sports complements other projects focusing on the inclusion of refugees and vulnerable people.


“The name of the project we launched recently – All In All For Football – sums up our mission,” Busuttil said.


The press conference was followed by a round-table discussion featuring the participation of representatives of the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality, the Malta FA, Youth FA and a number of NGOs.

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