Updated | MFA, police investigating racial abuse incident during women’s football league match

Malta national team player Maya Lucia calls out racial abuse directed towards her in Under-19 Women’s League match • Racial abuse condemned by government officials

Maya Lucia in number 10 shirt, wearing the Malta national team colours
Maya Lucia in number 10 shirt, wearing the Malta national team colours

The Malta Football Association is investigating a case of alleged racial abuse against a female footballer during a league match on Sunday.

The incident involved Raiders Għargħur and Malta national team player Maya Lucia, who called out the racial abuse she suffered at the hands of parents from the rival team.

Lucia took to Facebook to out the verbal abuse, which included statements such as “F'*** missierek dak l-iswed (F*** your black father)” and “Jekk hawn dak missierek l-iswed ghidli ha nkellmu (If your black father is here tell me so that I can have a word with him)”.

“This is the reality of being an athlete in Malta,” Lucia wrote.

Lucia’s team was playing against Mosta at the Marsaskala ground as part of the Under-19 Women’s League.

In a statement released on Sunday, the MFA expressed solidarity with Lucia and said it was in the process of gathering more information from the clubs involved.

“The alleged incident has been reported to the police,” the MFA said, adding that it unequivocally condemns any form of racist behaviour.

“Racism and discrimination have no place in football,” the MFA said.

On their part, Raiders Għargħur issued a statement to vehemently condemn the incident.

Raiders Gharghur said in a statement expressed disgust at the behaviour of the supporter’s racist comments.

“The club is in constant contact with Mosta FC who also wholly condemn the chants and together we urge all other clubs to strongly condemn this behaviour," the club said, adding it reported the incident to the MFA and the police.

Nikkundanna bi sħiħ dan l-għaġir inaċċetabbli u tal-mistħija li seħħ waqt logħba futbol tal-Under-19 minn adulti li...

Posted by Clifton Grima on Monday, 18 January 2021

The incident was condemned by Sports Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima. "This is unacceptable and shameful behaviour by adults who should be setting an example," he said, urging Lucia not to give up.

Atleta Maltija sfat vittma ta' insulti a bażi razzjali, aġir li sfortunatament mhux l-ewwel darba li kellna bħalu. Dawn...

Posted by Rosianne Cutajar on Monday, 18 January 2021

Equality Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar said the incident showed that racism was alive and kicking. She said government will shortly unveil a national plan against racism and xenophobia with targeted measures to eliminate racism in every sector.