FAM Facing Possible Suspension from FIFA as Clubs Continue to Challenge Leadership

  • Maldives
  • World
  • Sports
PUBLISHED 08 July 2023

The Football Association of Maldives (FAM) finds itself in the midst of a severe crisis, characterized by widespread failure of clubs to fulfill their financial obligations towards players, allegations of government neglect towards women's football, and the looming threat of suspension from FIFA.

The FAM congress, a vital platform where clubs convene to elect the executive committee, approve budgets, and make constitutional amendments, has been marred by inaction and a lack of accountability. Although the eight first division clubs possess a combined total of 16 votes, which is sufficient to overturn decisions made during the congress, none have stepped forward to challenge the current leadership of the FAM.

New Radiant, exhibiting a proactive stance, initiated a vote of no-confidence in the FAM, only to face suspension, while Victory Sports Club also received a suspension due to their failure to pay player salaries. Numerous other first division clubs have lodged complaints with the FAM regarding unpaid wages, yet no effective measures have been taken to address the issue.

Hussain Rasheed, a former FAM employee, lamented the stagnant state of Maldivian football, attributing the lack of progress to the clubs' reluctance to embrace change. "The clubs show little interest in reform," he stated. "They appear content with the status quo."

Maziya stands out as one of the few clubs capable of meeting their financial commitments to players. However, the club has refrained from openly addressing the underlying problems plaguing the football landscape.

While the government serves as the largest sponsor of the FAM, it has come under scrutiny for its apparent disregard of women's football. Insider sources confirmed that the FAM's expenses, in violation of the Finance Act, have been covertly covered through the Youth Ministry.

Critics have characterized the FAM as a directionless organization, seemingly empowered to act with impunity for its own self-interests. However, the public must also shoulder some responsibility, as the FAM represents the Maldivian population and relies on taxpayer funding. In the event of the FAM's failure to fulfill its duties, it becomes imperative for the government to take swift action.

The current state of the FAM not only jeopardizes the advancement of Maldivian football but also erodes the trust of players, clubs, and the public in the governing body. Urgent measures are needed to address the financial crisis, promote women's football, and ensure transparency and accountability within the FAM, thereby restoring the integrity of the sport in the Maldives.