The Malta Independent 16 July 2020, Thursday

Updated: MFA expresses solidarity with Malta goalkeeper who was racially insulted

Albert Galea Wednesday, 3 June 2020, 17:10 Last update: about 2 months ago

Malta goalkeeper Rashed Al-tumi was racially insulted on his own social media page by an official from San Gwann FC's nursery after he condemned the killing of George Floyd in the United States of America.

Floyd's killing, for which a white police officer stands charged, has reignited that Black Lives Matter movement in America and across the globe, with many entities in Malta even expressing their solidarity for the movement and against racism yesterday, as part of a campaign called #BlackoutTuesday.


Al-tumi, who is 19 years old and was born and raised in Malta, joined hundreds of others in their condemnation of the murder, only to be met by a comment from a person who forms part of the San Gwann FC nursery - the nursery being the section of the football club which caters for children of various ages.

"They're not well mannered. Wake up you Americans so you take your country back. America of red Indians. The place for black people is in Africa and nowhere else. They're not people", the official commented in less than spectacular Maltese.

When his comments were met with condemnation from others and Al-tumi himself, the official promptly replied back to tell the goalkeeper to "go to your country" - to which Al-tumi replied with a picture of himself and 10 national team-mates singing the Maltese national anthem before an international football match.

"So what - you're not Maltese; you came here when you were young and we taught you something", the official replied, again in broken Maltese.

Replay meanwhile reported on Wednesday that the chairman of Valletta FC's Youth Development Sector - Valletta being the club where Al-tumi started his career and played with up until his move to Italy - James Mackay had said that all of Valletta's youth clubs would refuse to play against San Gwann FC until the club sacks the official and until action is taken by the Youth FA and Malta Football Association.

Replay also reported that local footballing authorities are investigating the comments.

The Malta Football Association expressed solidarity with Maltese goalkeeper Rashed Al-Tumi who has been the target of racially-motivated comments on social media.

“As the derogatory comments have been made by a member of a local youth football nursery, the Malta FA will be formally asking the Youth FA to look into the matter.”

“Regrettably, this is not the first incident of its kind in recent days as Maltese footballers Yannick Yankam and Jacob Walker were also subjected to racial abuse on social media. During this delicate time when the world is in shock over the tragic death of George Floyd in the United States, the Malta FA reiterates that racism and discrimination have no place in our society.”  The official in question has now been dismissed.

Al-tumi is widely considered as one of the leading prospects of Maltese football. He was called up to Malta's senior national team for the first-time last November barely a month after his 19th birthday, having represented Malta at various youth national levels.

He currently plays in Italy with Serie D side Casarano having previously played with Palermo at a youth level. In the 2019/20 season which was cut short because of Covid-19, Al-tumi had kept six cleansheets from 14 games, helping his team to a respectable 5th place.




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