In a partnership between the Malta Football Association (MFA) and the Government of Malta, the MFA has launched a new campaign to combat homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination in football. The campaign was initiated and led by Minister of Equality; Helena Dalli was pursued talks with MFA about taking action. Inspired by Malta’s history of the first European country to adopt and affirm LGBTQI rights, Dalli wanted to continue that legacy and help Malta lead the way to LGBTQI inclusion in sports.
The campaign includes initiatives such as participation in the #RainbowLaces campaign by providing all the players and officials with a pair of laces. There will also be various affirming messages and displays throughout the stadium during MFA matches. Dallli believes that diversity is not “being appreciated as much as it should be” and that proactive efforts are needed in various areas, including sports.
MFA Vice President, Dr. Matthew Paris, supports the campaign and is working with the Ministry of Equality to promote and strengthen MFA’s efforts for inclusion and he hopes to attract more people towards football because “the sport does not belong to any particular branch of society, or to just a few people. It is a game that is open to all.”
By Dirk Smith
Photo DOI- Reuben Piscopo