The Malta Football Association (MFA)’s Inhobb il-Futbol Foundation signed its very first commercial agreement since its creation during a press conference on Friday as BNF Bank will become the official sponsor for the country’s junior competitions, particularly the Under-15 and -17 leagues for the next two years.
The foundation, one of the association’s priorities in terms of grassroots advancement, is chaired by former National team and Birkirkara player Gareth Sciberras. Sciberras expressed his appreciation towards the local bank for their interest and financial support for youth football and its competitions which he said are at the heart of development of both the players, as well as Maltese society in the future.
“It is important for our projects to be supported by organisations with similar values within the community,” Sciberras said, while thanking the board members and staff of the foundation for their efforts towards this agreement.
“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.
“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 practiced and loved by society at large.”
In turn, Chief Commercial Officer of the bank George Debono, who signed the agreement together with Sciberras, explained that the company is reinforcing its values through partnerships like this.
“We’re delighted to collaborate with Inhobb il-Futbol Foundation in their mission to invest and nurture young football talent at grassroots and youth level,” Debono said.
“We are pleased to support the U-15 and U-17 national football league. Our agreement is a tangible means of reinforcing BNF’s values of ambition and responsibility among the younger generations whilst contributing to shaping their future in sports and society.”
The partnership will reach out to children within the community through their participation in Malta’s youth leagues. Up to 41 teams are part of the Under-15 league and 38 are involved in the Under-17s.
The foundation, built upon the work of Fr Hilary Tagliaferro who started the Youth Football Association and was one of the founders of the foundation itself which now remains the main interlocutor with all football nurseries, is based upon three priorities.
These are creating a pathway for talented young players towards elite level; making the sport more inclusive and promoting diversity; and increasing participation in the sport and improve the wellbeing of those who take part across Maltese society.