The FA Trophy will have new title sponsors from this season after the Malta Football Association has signed a commercial agreement with betting company Izibet for the next three years.
The agreement was announced Bjorn Vassallo, the MFA president, during a press conference at the MFA Centenary Hall in Ta’ Qali and said that it was a clear statement that football is starting to attract more private entities to invest in the Beautiful Game, here.
“During the past few months there were a lot of companies who showed strong interest to associate themselves in Maltese football and that is a clear sign that the game has become increasingly popular,” Vassallo said.
“Maltese fans in Malta are very passionate on the game here and it is our commitment to try to groom this sporting culture by putting the football fan at its centre.
“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Izibet who will now become our title sponsors for the FA Trophy which has been without an official sponsor for a few years now.
“The agreement is for the next three years but we are hopeful that this partnership between the two entities will be extended for many more years.”
Vassallo said that during the COVID-19 pandemic the Malta FA had put in a lot of work to try and attract more financial support from private entities.
“Everyone knows how hard was hit by COVID-19 and the Malta Football Association has succeeded in luring to its fold high-profile companies who have decided to support the game,” Vassallo said.
“In the coming weeks we will announce commercial agreements for domestic competitions and we are also set to unveil a partnership with a private company to support the Fondazzjoni Nħobb il-Futbol.
“These kind of agreements are fundamental for football who cannot survive without commercial agreements.”
The FA Trophy has been hit hard by the pandemic, so much so that the competition was not completed for the last two seasons after season was cut short during the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Malta.
In fact, the last team to win the FA Trophy were Balzan who in 2019 they beat Valletta in a thrilling final that was decided by a penalty shoot-out after the match ended in a 4-4 draw.
“After two seasons where the FA Trophy could not be completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now hopeful that this year we will be able to complete this year’s edition,” the MFA chief said.
“There are many clubs who are very keen to inscribe their name on the trophy this year as added to the prestige of winning the competition, it also offers the chance to the winners to participate in UEFA club competitions.”
On his part, Franco Degabriele, chief commercial officer at Izibet, said that he is proud that his company will be associated with the Malta Football Association and is hopeful that this was the start of a long-term partnership between the two organisations.
“I am really grateful to the Malta Football Association who have decided to work with us,” Degabriele said.
“Our company has only been on the market since 2015 but during the past years our services have reached the highest level. We were very keen to be partners with the Malta Football Association and we believe that this agreement will not only be beneficial for us but more importantly for the development of football in Malta.
“In the last few months, the interest towards Maltese football has increased considerably and we hope that this will be the start of a long-term partnership between Izibet and the MFA.”