Social inclusion projects at the heart of Malta FA's commitment

The football social responsibility (FSR) department of the Malta Football Association (MFA) has embarked on a host of projects for refugees and vulnerable people, partly funded by the European Union and UEFA.

Social inclusion projects at the heart of Malta FA's commitment
Social inclusion projects at the heart of Malta FA's commitment ©Domenic Aquilina

Building on the encouraging response and positive impact of last year’s EU-funded inclusion project ‘Include me and I will understand’, the football social responsibility (FSR) department of the Malta Football Association (MFA) has embarked on a host of projects for refugees and vulnerable people, partly funded by the European Union and UEFA.

The All In, All for Football project encourages local clubs to engage with locals and non-nationals, mainly refugees, through football-related activities.

This initiative, which is part of the MFA’s overarching Football For Life programme, has so far involved a number of football clubs, coaches, staff, refugees (men, women and children) and vulnerable persons who are referred to the MFA by government agencies such as Appoġġ and Leap.

A defining moment for the FSR department and its inclusion projects was reached in September when All In, All For Football was one of the six projects nominated for the FIFA Diversity Award.

“It was indeed an honour for us to be the only European football association to be nominated for the FIFA Diversity Award for one of our inclusion projects,” said Peter Busuttil from the Malta FA’s FSR department.

“We would like to thank UEFA and the European Union for supporting our efforts, the clubs and all the partners as their contribution is vital for us to implement these projects, which have been very well received, especially by refugees.”

In 2020, the MFA will embark on a new inclusion project, also funded by the EU – Play Football, Live Football.

The MFA is also one of the partners in PlayGreen, a project endorsed by UEFA and funded under the European Union’s Erasmus+ Sport programme for a sustainable future in sport. Six organisations have teamed up to raise awareness and build capacities about environmental sustainability in sport across Europe.

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 188