As we welcome a new year, there are positives and negatives from the year ended. There is nothing much we can do listing down all that has happened in 2016 but we may find some comfort in at least hoping and wishing things turn more positive, or at least more like the way we want, in the new year. Here are just five wishes we simple hope to come true in 2017.
5. A mighty challenger from atolls
Everyone thinks the future of Maldivian football lies in atoll tournaments. There is more support and supporters have that feeling of belonging to their island team. But in order to challenge the financially strong Male’ based clubs, let’s just wish a worthy opponent rises from the atolls.
4. Fans, fans and more fans
National stadium is a fortress for big clubs and Maldives national team in the past. Regional and continental big guns came in the past in the hope of going back with a positive result. But over the last few years the scenario has been changed. Local league games of top clubs are being played to an empty audience, and that is despite there is no entrance fee. National team games being played to half full stadium, unless the opponent is Bangladesh. So let’s wish this new year attracts more fans to the stadium.
3. A stable administration
Maldives football has been rocked by number of failed congresses in the last few years. Maldives, once were on the brink of a FIFA suspension when both Ahmed Thariq and Bassam Adheel Jaleel stepped aside their differences to save us from a possible suspension. But football community was again hit with another FAM election later in November. So we just hope the year 2017 continues without us being too worried about the political wars in the administration.
2. Big guns back to life
No one has solved the mystery of lack of fans in Maldives football. There are glimmer hopes of return of football supporters with top clubs such as New Radiant, Victory and Valencia cominh back to their stronger self. The early signs suggest both New Radiant and Victory will be a force this year. Let’s just wish Valencia too join the list and with a healthy competition from Maziya, Eagles and TC this year we see a very competitive and house-full local games.
1. Winning SAFF Championship
Last but not least there is no better joy than watching our national team crowned champions of the region. It has been more than 8 years since we were crowned regional champions. This year SAFF Championship will be played in Bangladesh, a place where we made the habit of reaching the finals. Let’s just wish our boys replicate the triumphant 2008 again and unite our divided nation.