It was a field day for Football Association of Maldives (FAM) and their senior officials when Maldives won SAFF Championship in September. While the nation roared in joy, FA officials basked in glory. It was as if years of meticulous planning had eventually paid off. Their actions could easily be interpreted by someone who has very little knowledge about Maldivian football that things were stable and on track in Maldivian football. But the truth is the complete opposite.
The honeymoon is over again and the domestic league is back to an empty stadium, attended by almost a handful of fans, and out of sight and mind of the FA officials that turned out in numbers to celebrate the joy of SAFF Suzuki Cup. Clubs are under huge debts and hopeless of financial support, promised arranged by FAM through tripartite SOE arrangements. Teams are divided and several clubs are lacking in a proper squad. None of them practiced systematically during the long almost pre season like break. Inevitably goals are flying in against island based teams who are struggling to keep up financially and quality wise.
FAM president Bassam promised the league would be a platform for island based teams to showcase their talent and compete against bigger teams. But it has become a joke that are laughed at by the rest of the country, entirely for reasons out of their control and planning but the FA.
FAM has once again gone back to hibernation and proved yet again what a failed institution they have become. Football in Maldives is in for a long ride. SAFF Championship by no means should be used as the yard stick to assess where we stand!