An agreement was signed today, between Inħobb il-Futbol Foundation and BNF Bank. Through this agreement BNF Bank will become the official sponsors of the national junior competitions, namely the Under 17 and Under 15 Leagues, for the next two years. This is the first sponsorship secured by the Foundation since its creation as one of the strategic priorities of the Malta Football Association in the advancement of the grassroots level.
This partnership reaches out at the community level through the involvement of children participating in these leagues, as supported by their clubs and families. Up to 17 teams in the Under 14 League, 41 teams participate in the Under 15 League and 38 teams are involved in the Under 17 League.
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Former National Team footballer Gareth Sciberras, Chairman of the Inħobb il-Futbol Foundation, thanked BNF for their interest in youth football and their financial support for these competitions, which are at the heart of the development of players and,more importantly, their personal growth and as the futureof Maltese society.
“It is important for our projects to be supported by organisations with similar values within the community”, Sciberras said. He also expressed his appreciation for the contribution of all the Board members and ofthe hard-working staff employed by or assisting the Foundation. “I feel privileged to be working alongside persons with such high football profiles who are passionate about the game and its development, and who generously give their time and expertise to make this dream come true. Hence, our appreciation towards BNF who will be behind us in the organisation of the competitions.
This sponsorship by BNF signifies the Bank’s trust in these people’s commitment towards youth development, developing our future elite footballers and in making football really a sport which is practised and loved by society at large.”
The Inħobb il-Futbol Foundation has three strategic priorities: (i) creating a pathway for talented young players towards the elite level, (ii) making football a more inclusive sport by promoting as much diversity as possible to continueto make this sport a unifying factor in our society; and thereby (iii) increasing participation in football and improve the wellbeing of those who partake in it across the entire Maltese society.
The setting up of the Foundation seeks to build on the pioneering work initiated decades ago by the legendary Fr Hilary Tagliaferro – himself a founder member on the Foundation’s Board and the person who had coined the phrase “Inħobb il-Futbol” – in setting up the original Ċentru Sport Edukattiv in the 70s. This had led to the creation of the Youth Football Association, which is itself represented on the Foundation and remains the main interlocutor with all football nurseries.
George Debono, Chief Commercial Officer at BNF Bank stated that “We’re delighted to collaborate with Inħobb il-Futbol Foundation in their mission to invest and nurture young football talent at grassroot and youth level. We are pleased to support the U14, U15 and U17 National Football Leagues. Our agreement is a tangible means of reinforcing BNF’s values of ambition and responsibility among the younger generations whilst contributing in shaping their future in sports and society”.
The agreement was signed in the presence of MFA General Secretary Angelo Chetcuti and National Teams Head Coach Devis Mangia