President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih state on Monday that efforts were underway to introduce a loan scheme for players who retire after serving in the national team for five years or more.
Delivering his presidential address at the Parliament's 2020 inagural session which commenced at 0900 hrs, President Solih noted that the loan scheme will help former players kickstart another business or career.
In most countries, players earn and invest some of their income by the age of retirement. However, since tournaments are only held at the semi-professional level in Maldives, players do not earn an adequate amount to do so.
The only sports where players make a considerable income are football and volleyball. Therefore, such a scheme will provide financial assistance to retired players and encourage young players to choose sports as their main career.
"I thank President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on behalf of all Maldivian athletes. This motivates young athletes to go forward in sports at a national level", tweeted Imran Mohamed, who played for the national football field for 17 years.
During the address, President Solih referred to Maldives' accomplishments at the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) and South Asian Games, noting that last year was a historic year for Maldivian sports.
"Last year, Maldivian athletes secured a total of 46 medals, with 13 gold medals. Moreover, the gold medal Maldives won in the 100-meter dash in South Asian Games was the first gold Maldives won in the history of the tournament", President Solih said.
Currently, the biggest challenge for Maldives is hosting the Indian Ocean Island Games in 2023. Maldives received the honour of hosting the tournament following numerous efforts made by the administration.
President Solih declared that, god willing, attempts were already underway to develop the facilities required to host IOIG 2023.
In addition to the above, President Solih outlined various government priorities and key plans fort he year 2020.