- Maltese Football Players Association (MFPA) created an online tool for players to report any form of abuse
- All reports are confidential and handled by a safeguarding officer
- The tool can be accessed in the member section on the MFPA website
The Maltese Football Players Association (MFPA) has provided its members with the means to report any form of abuse through an online tool.
"They can report different kinds of abuse, whether it is verbal, physical, sexual, racist or discriminatory abuse, anything," Carlo Mamo, the general secretary of the MFPA, told FIFPRO.
The tool can be accessed in the member section of the player union's website. All reports are confidential and handled by a safeguarding officer, who will inform players about the investigation process and provide them with tailored advice.
In case the player prefers to remain anonymous, the safeguarding officer can also organise expert support in the form of a legal professional or psychiatrist. If anonymity is not required, then the safeguarding officer can involve the MFPA.
Malta Football Players Association
• Division: Europe
• Established: 2011
• FIFPRO Member since: 2014
• Website: maltafpa.com
The reporting tool and the support offered by the player association are free of charge for members. The MFPA decided to create the tool after several incidents in Maltese football.
"Recently a player reported sexual harassment by a coach, a case that is now under investigation," said Mamo. "This tool allows players to report this type of abuse and other types of inappropriate behaviour confidentially."
The MFPA took this approach after discussing with the Maltese Football Association and the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) how to create effective ways for players to report abuse they suffered.
The FSWS will next month hold an informative session about abuse for the MFPA player council and the union’s executive committee.
Subsequently, the MFPA will arrange club visits together with the FSWS to raise further awareness about the reporting tool.
"The FSWS will explain how the reporting tool works, what happens with the report, and what kind of help could be provided after reporting," said Mamo. "These awareness sessions are not limited to senior teams, they're also available for the youth academies."
It is difficult for Mamo to predict how much the reporting tool will be used. He said: "We are aware there may be cases out there that we are unaware of. Hopefully, the tool will make the reporting process easier and remove any barriers that may prevent players from reporting.
"As with the Red Button app, if you give players the option to report, you might find out how big the problem is."