The Women’s Friendly Tournament, a joint football initiative between Gibraltar and La Linea, kicked off last night, bringing to fruition a project aimed at highlighting cross border co-operation through sport.
The importance of the tournament as a way of “breaking political barriers” and promoting women’s football was not lost as organisers and GFA officials held a press conference prior to the first matches being played.
Speaking just hours before the kick off of the first match of the tournament, which was played at the Victoria Stadium, the GFA’s General Secretary, Dennis Beiso, welcomed the fact that they were acting as co-hosted in this international event.
The tournament, he said, “…breaks frontiers, breaks borders and promotes the game of women’s football in both Gibraltar and in Spain. It’s a magnificent achievement by everyone involved.”
Speaking during a GFA women’s football workshop ahead of the press conference, Equalities Minister Samantha Sacramento welcomed the tournament and the events which the GFA had managed to put in place to promote women’s football.
“I am delighted t be here, to promote women’s football and promote women in sport,” she said.
“Anything that we do in terms of collaboration and anything in that relates to better ourselves is always good.”
The tournament has received support from both the Gibraltar Government and the town council in La Linea. Mr Beiso said he believed the support would continue into the future even though the GFA was now acting as co-host and supporting the initiative.
“The tournament enjoys the support from the political authorities from both sides of the border,” he said.
“Our Government is supporting the tournament logistically, politically and also financially.”
“The Minister for Sport is hosting a reception on Thursday evening for participants of the tournament with delegations from each and also GFA representatives.”
“I think this is the mark of the level of high support the tournament enjoys and I know this is true from the Mayor of La Linea and his team over there, who have been very supportive from day one as well.”
“I think the beauty of this tournament is that it overcomes any political hurdles.”
“In many respects it will show that football and sport are more powerful than political boundaries that may or may not be there.”
“Going forward, I am sure the tournament will only grow in the future.”
The tournament will see international clubs from Spain, England, France and the US taking part. Matches will be played at both Victoria Stadium and La Linea stadiums.
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