Malta FA issues statement following debate in parliament regarding sports integrity act

The Malta Football Association refers to the debate during Tuesday’s parliamentary sitting which was discussing amendments to the Sports Governance and Integrity Act.

During the debate, it has been implied that the outcome of football matches or competitions may be predictable and lack integrity.

It is extremely disappointing for the Association to note that the discussion in the highest political institution is reduced to conjecture and speculation when debating a matter of such importance for sport in general. So many people dedicate time, effort, and resources daily to contribute towards the game.

Some of the reported claims are nothing short of a slap in the face for all those athletes, volunteers, and most of all fans.

In the context of the ongoing discussion about amendments to the Sports Governance and Integrity Act, the Malta FA remains steadfast in its commitment to uphold integrity and fight corruption in football.

This resolve is backed by action not just words as the Association has been at the forefront of efforts to strengthen legislative tools in the form of harsher penalties for criminal offenses related to match-fixing and anti-sporting behavior.

Set up by the Malta FA back in 2015, the Anti-Corruption Task Force, which brought together all stakeholders including politicians, played a leading role in the process which eventually led to the enactment of the afore-mentioned Sports Governance and Integrity Act.

Furthermore, good governance, ethics, and integrity checks were also central to the extensive reforms undertaken by the Malta FA in recent years as part of the Association’s strategy.

While the Malta FA welcomes any constructive discussion on integrity issues in Maltese sport and proposals to strengthen the tools in the fight against corruption, the Association solicits all parties involved to exercise caution not to generate unfounded speculation, tarnishing the image of local football in the process.

Moreover, it recalls the fact that there is a duty to report any information or evidence about match-fixing or any other form of corruption in Maltese sport.

In reaffirming our zero-tolerance stance against corruption in sports, the Malta FA notes that such speculation hardly does justice to the efforts of football administrators who dedicate their time and energy, mostly voluntarily, to serve their clubs and communities.