The Valletta 2018 International Football Tournament was set to be a sporty highlight of the Valletta 2018 celebrations.
The tournament features fourteen teams from seven different countries – but it seems like the organisers forgot to invite Valletta to the Valletta Tournament.
In a public statement, Valletta FC said that they learnt of the tournament from the TVM news, and were surprised to find out that Valletta FC’s participation had not been solicited.
They said that Parliamentary Secretary for V.18 Deo Debattista then offered an informal invitation to participate in the tournament, even though it was already underway.
They refused this invitation.
Mayor of Valletta Alexiei Dingli spoke to Lovin Malta about the lack of a timely invitation: “It baffles me how our team, which is one of the top teams in Malta, has not been invited to take part in the Valletta 2018 Football Tournament.”
“Valletta is a team which boasts various honours and is an integral part of the city’s culture. Excluding it is like excluding the citizens of Valletta from the Valletta 2018 Capital of Culture,” he said.
The statement also addressed what they felt was Valletta 2018 Chairman Jason Micallef calling them liars when he contradicted their version of events.
Valletta FC asked for the Valletta 2018 Foundation to publish their formal invitation to them to clarify the situation.
The tournament saw the FIFA World Cup Trophy displayed in Valletta on 10th February, and it features foreign teams including Levski Sofia from Bulgaria, St Gallen from Switzerland and IFK Norrköping from Sweden.
Questions sent to the Valletta 2018 Foundation were not answered by time of publication.