National team players join campaign against gender violence

Some of the country’s leading footballers have joined a national campaign against gender-based violence in a video launched today.

Strikers Michael Mifsud and Alfred Effiong, together with defender Andrei Agius and goalkeeper Andrew Hogg, feature in the video which forms part of a campaign by the Malta FA and President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society aimed at eradicating gender-based violence.

The central message of the video which also features international referee Trustin Farrugia Cann and Gabriella Zahra from the national women’s team, is that there are no winners in gender-based violence – only losers – and the players urge the public to ‘kick it out’ once and for all.

Reported cases of domestic violence in Malta, which is one aspect of the problem, have risen sharply – with 1,272 instances last year compared with 450 in 2008, according to the CrimeMalta Annual Review.

Thanking the players for their support, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said: “Together with the Malta Football Association and the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, I am spearheading the #StopGenderViolence campaign because I am convinced we must target public at large in tackling all issues related to gender-based violence in Malta.”

The Malta FA will also be supporting the campaign on dedicated Malta Premier League match days throughout the season, where players will continue to raise awareness about the issue.

Photos: Copyright © domenic aquilina

MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo said: “Football is a powerful tool to promote good causes and raise awareness about important issues for the good of our society.”

“The Malta FA fully supports the efforts of the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society to increase awareness about this plight.”

A number of initiatives, backed by the UN, are taking place around the world aimed at stamping out gender-based violence and the Malta campaign is also being supported by Football People Action week, an international initiative organised by Football Against Racism in Europe which has the backing of UEFA.

Ms Coleiro Preca will on Saturday also addressing the Football People convention. Hosted by the Malta FA with the backing of FARE, the convention this year focuses on football and diversity.