Editorial note: Xandru Grech has sent The Shift this statement as a Right of Reply following the article ‘Xandru Grech’s triathlon gets €600,000 from MTA‘. The Shift is publishing it as received, according to law. Publication does not imply that we are in agreement with the content.
“Reference is made to the article published on the electronic site on the 4th June 2020, at 12.51 pm titled Xandru Grech’s triathlon gets €600,000 from MTA.
This article, unfortunately, misrepresented facts in my regard with the consequence that this erroneous portrayal of such facts constitutes defamation in my regard.
Under normal circumstances, it would go against my grain to react to any criticism levelled at me, even if I felt that the criticism or comments were unfair or unjust, or that I should have, at least, been given the benefit of the doubt.
However, the article in question goes beyond unfair and unjust criticism and genuinely feel that I should state my case and clear my name from the defamatory and damaging statements and declarations found in the said article and all comments that followed.
In the article, a number of declarations were made stating that I received numerous sponsorships and funds from the Malta Tourism Authority. To cite a few examples:
– in the article’s subtitle, which read: “It was not a one-off sponsorship for the son of Louis Grech, former Deputy Prime Minister, as repeat sponsorships raised the total to some €2 million over three years”
– in the second paragraph of the article’s body: “The public funds awarded to Xandru Grech in 2018 amount to a staggering €600,000”
– in the fifth paragraph of the article’s body: “In total, Grech’s private activity received some €2 million in three years”
– in the sixth paragraph of the article’s body: “Sports organisations said that while the MTA found absolutely no difficulty dedicating €600,000 for a sports event that had only started a year earlier (2017), the Authority had turned down requests from other sports organisations wanting to organise international events for a fraction of the funds given to the former Labour Deputy Leader’s son”
Essentially, the factual damming premise of this article is that I received funds and/or sponsorships from the Malta Tourism Authority.
This is totally untrue and incorrect.
I have never, either personally, or through any legal entity in which I have a beneficial interest, received these above-mentioned funds or sponsorships from the Malta Tourism Authority. Any funds arising from the Super League Triathlon Sponsorship were received entirely by Super League Holding PTE Ltd.
In summary, no public funds were awarded to me for my private activity, as was reported in the article. In this respect, I have also sent an email to the MTA asking for clarification. Furthermore, I wish to reiterate and make it amply clear that I am not a shareholder, director or an employee of Super League Holding PTE Ltd or any companies associated to it.
Super League Holding PTE Ltd engaged a small team of people to provide services for the Malta event. In this respect, I was engaged primarily to co-ordinate activities, meetings and logistics, promote the event, and liaise with local councils and various communities. ‘Super League’ is a world class international event, where 50 of the world’s best triathletes including Olympic, world and Commonwealth medalists compete against each other. This event, which is held in a number of countries, is viewed by millions of fans and spectators worldwide, showcasing our beautiful island and bringing over hundreds of people from overseas.
In conclusion, I hope I was able to clarify the misrepresentation of facts in your article and, therefore, I kindly request your organisation to honour my right of reply in the form, time and prominence as prescribed by Article 15 of the Media and Defamation Act.”