National Lottery plc and the Malta Sports Journalists Association (MSJA) are pleased to announce that the Malta Women’s National Football Team won the third IZIBET Elite Athlete Award, covering the period September–October 2023.
The Maltese girls made history as they won all four matches played in the Women’s Nations League Group C1 and are leading this same group before they play the last two matches at the beginning of next month. This is the first time that a national football team has had such consecutive wins in an international competition.
‘We are thrilled to be presenting this prestigious award to the Malta Women’s Football National Team, to recognize their efforts and their results in the League C Group 1, having attained 100% record beating countries the like of Latvia, Andorra and Moldova,” said Franco De Gabriele, Chief Commercial Officer of National Lottery plc. “We hope that the entire movement around Women’s football continues to urge a more professional outlook for the sport and that more of our athletes seek the path towards professionalism. It is abundantly clear that our athletes have the talent it takes to succeed but require an environment that supports their continuous development. We are proud to contribute in a small way the Women’s Football team and hope they continue to attain strong results going forward.”
Commenting at the presentation Malta SJA President Sandro Micallef said: “I would like to congratulate myself with the Malta National Football team for their run of positive results in their last 4 consecutive qualifying games. Well done to all the players who formed part in any of the past 4 international games, the coaching staff, support staff and all those who have contributed in a way or another to this success. This Award is a clear sign that the local sports media is following women’s football and is appreciating the continuous improvement.”
Micallef added “I take the opportunity to make a genuine appeal once again to the Malta Football Players Association and the Malta Football Association to publish in its entirety the recent Memorandum of Understanding that was signed with the Malta Women’s National Team. The publication of this MoU will help us journalists to keep an eye and put the necessary pressure on the Malta FA to make sure it keeps up with the commitments it has made towards achieving full compliance with the UEFA Minimum Standards Framework for Women’s National Teams in Europe by June 2024. Unless the full details of this MoU are made public, the media cannot make any follow up on the progress of these promises,” Micallef concluded.
The IZIBET Elite Athlete Award is aimed at recognising exceptional performances by local athletes and is awarded every two months, covering the periods January–February, March-April, May-June, July–August, September-October, and November–December.
A selection board composed of sports journalists and sports observers is responsible for evaluating the athlete’s achievements during the designated review periods, ensuring a fair and thorough assessment process.
In the meantime, the official website of the Malta Sports Journalists Association https://www.maltasportsjournalists.com/ provides the rules and regulations governing the award.
Photo caption: Franco Degabriele Chief Commercial Officer of National Lottery plc. presenting the trophy for the IZIBET Elite Athlete Award September – October 2023 to the Malta Women’s National Football Team.