This is about Dhivehi Experimental League, founded in 2000 as Dhivehi League it is still an experimental league. This could also be the only experimental football league in the world.
What’s experimenting in this league has nothing much to do with the development of the game or this is not about experimenting or testing new technology. This more of experimenting for the benefit of certain people and certain propaganda.
In other countries, they do experiment certain changes to the game it could be either the format or new technology. But they do these experiments in lower leagues or junior tournaments. But here in Maldives we do it the other way.
Anyways, let’s have a look at some unique and disturbing facts of our premier league.
Qualification! Yes, our league requires a qualification every year. The big teams play Male’ League to qualify for Premier League and atoll teams play in Atoll Tournaments to get themselves qualified and they all do this every year. Winning the league or finishing at the bottom are same in terms of getting the team to play in next season’s Dhivehi Premier League.
Number of teams. Remember the times when bottom finishing first division teams get relegated to second division? That allows second division champions and runners up promoted to first division. Not anymore. The bottom finishing teams now (at least until last year) enter a qualification round to seal a place in top division. That all is to ensure number of teams in the league to remain same but if a favourite team is on the brink of relegation the rule changes. Last year it was an 8 teams league and this year it is going to be 10 teams. And how things are unfolding in Male’ League it could be 12 teams or more in next season’s Dhivehi Premier League.
Rule implementation. When there is a change in the rule, what’s ethical is to give relevant bodies time to adjust or prepare for the change. For example, English Premier League decided their summer transfer deadline to be before the start of the season but that comes to effect from next season. Here in Maldives, changes are effective from the moment they decide. Three round league competition may end after second round and the decision could be taken just before the start of the second round.
There is no end to experiments. League name is an experimental name. From Dhivehi League to Dhivehi Premier League it could be changed to Dhivehi Super League next month.
Well this year’s Dhivehi Premier League is yet to kick off and major changes to the league could already be on the table. Who knows? After all this is an Experimental League.