Albania, Belarus and the Faroe Islands join Malta in 2024 VisitMalta Women’s International Football Friendlies

Between the 22nd and the 25th of February 2024, women’s football will again be in the spotlight in Malta when the national teams of Albania, Belarus and the Faroe Islands, together with Malta, will participate in the 4th annual VisitMalta Women’s International Friendlies across two matchdays at the Tony Bezzina Stadium. 

Fresh from their successful UEFA Women’s Nations League participation that culminated in their promotion to League B, Malta’s girls will kick off the event on the 22nd with a match against the Faroe Islands. Then, three days later, on the 25th, they face Belarus.

At a press conference on Friday, Clayton Bartolo, the Minister for Tourism and Public Cleanliness, said that the VisitMalta Women’s International Friendlies are a testament to the Government’s strategy to boost sports tourism, particularly during the winter months. 

He pointed out that Sports tourism has socio-economic benefits. “We are happy that we are also supporting our women’s national team through the organisation of these friendlies,” he said.

Carlo Micallef, Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Tourism Authority, highlighted Malta’s appeal as a sports destination and the associated benefits underlined by the events held over the past two months. 

“This is the fourth year that we are hosting these matches, which also reflects our commitment to supporting women’s football as well as facilitating opportunities for the women’s national team to play in international friendlies,” Mr Micallef said.

Manuela Tesse, the Malta National Women’s Coach, who was present at the news conference, expressed gratitude to the Ministry for Tourism and VisitMalta for their support and stressed the significance of these friendlies in preparation for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025. She expressed the Malta team’s importance in facing more vigorous opponents to foster growth. 

She said that such an event continues to provide positive experiences for fans and helps to increase the interest in women’s football domestically.

Malta Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo (centre) at the news conference flanked by Helmut Amhof (left) and MTA CEO Carlo Micallef. Ritratt: VisitMalta

Helmut Amhof, representing Qmedia, which provides a variety of services in the sports sector that include the organisation of training camps for local and foreign teams, both in Malta and abroad, emphasised the crucial role of the Malta Tourism Authority in organising sports events, generating bed nights, and promoting Malta globally. 

He thanked the Malta FA for its collaboration, which is essential for the success of such initiatives.

By Joseph Cutajar

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