Malta, Austria, Slovakia and Sweden will be taking part in an international women’s friendly tournament, being played at the Hibernians Stadium between the 18th and 23rd February.
The 2021 VisitMalta Women’s International Tournament, being organised by the Malta Football Association through its commercial arm MFA SportsPlus Limited, was launched on Monday during a press conference at the Centenary Hall.
The matches will kick off on 18 February with Malta, who rose to 85th in the latest FIFA World Rankings on the back of their EURO qualifying wins over Georgia and Israel, taking on Slovakia who are ranked 45th. The next day, Austria, ranked 20th, meet Sweden, currently fifth in the world rankings. The final two matches are scheduled to take place on 23 February, 2021 with Malta playing Sweden and Austria facing Slovakia.
Ivan Vella, Chief Officer (Administration) of the Malta Football Association and CEO of MFA SportsPlus Limited, said: “The Malta FA is constantly striving to increase the opportunities for our women’s national team to play top-level international football more regularly in sync with the Association’s strategy which will be launched shortly.
“This tournament is testament to this commitment. It also represents one of main objectives of MFA SportsPlus Limited which is to attract foreign teams to do training camps and play matches in our country.”
Details about the tournament were given by Helmut Amhof, representing MFA SportsPlus Limited, who said that organising an international event during these difficult times is a massive challenge but the company and its partners are going to great lengths to ensure that all the requisites are met, in accordance with the health protocols.
“A tournament of this kind would not have been possible without the support of our partners, especially VisitMalta,” Amhof said. “We have also signed a co-operation agreement with PBS as all matches will be broadcast live in the countries represented in this tournament which will be the second international event hosted in Malta following the successful organisation of the Tipsport Malta Cup.”
Carlo Micallef, Deputy CEO of the Malta Tourism Authority, said VisitMalta is very pleased to be supporting this international women’s tournament, commending the progress being made by Malta in women’s football.
Micallef said tournaments and events like this not only reap economic benefits for the country but also generate significant media exposure for the Maltese islands in other countries.
Mark Gatt, the Malta women’s coach, welcomed the tournament. “It is a dream for our women’s team to play in a high-level tournament in our country,” Gatt said. “This also shows that the work related to women’s football is earning more recognition as more foreign teams are interested in coming to play here. From a footballing aspect, this tournament is part of our preparations for the World Cup qualifiers.”
18 February, 2021
15:00 – Malta vs Slovakia
19 February, 2021
15.00 – Austria vs Sweden
23 February, 2021
14:30 – Malta vs Sweden
18:30 – Austria vs Slovakia