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FAM: Bassam's term ending, Maldives awaits FIFA decision

The government of Maldives and FAM are currently anticipating a decision from FIFA on how best to proceed with the it's next leadership elections.

Ameera Osmanagic
05 June 2024, MVT 11:52
[File] President of Football Association of Maldives (FAM), Bassam Adeel Jaleel -- Photo: FAM
Ameera Osmanagic
05 June 2024, MVT 11:52

As Football Association of Maldives (FAM)'s President Bassam Adeel Jaleel's term as head of the association, FAM has turned to FIFA to determine what its next steps should be.

Bassam's second term as president of FAM will end on 2nd July. However, the association had put a halt on its election process which was attempted twice after FIFA intervened both times.

Looking at the time left in Bassam's term, FAM will be unable to announce and organise an entirely new election during the time thats left. This is if the association were to comply with its regulations which stipulate a mandatory 45 days in between the date of announcing the election and holding the election.

FAM's Acting Secretary General Mohamed Jaushan Shareef, commenting on the situation, said that FIFA has been notified of the fast approaching term deadlines. FIFA is yet to respond, he added.

Clubs and offices awaiting FIFA's decision as well

While FAM remains in limbo over its future leadership, the clubs who stepped aside in their dissatisfaction of Bassam are also in anticipation of FIFA's decision on the matter.

Amidst the discord, which was fuelled by certain clubs not being included in the FAM congress held last February, a delegation from FIFA and AFC who visited Maldives last April held talks with the clubs that were cast aside as well as other local stakeholders of the sport.

In the meeting, clubs requests FIFA to escalate the matter to FIFA's 'normalisation committee', which ensures compliance with FIFA regulatory requirements.

"The clubs believe that bringing FAM to a normalisation is in the best interest of the entire Maldives' football [scene] as well as the clubs. To resolve the issues under the purview of the normalisation committee and to move towards a new election. These clubs await FIFA's decision more than any other party," an official who participated in the talks with FIFA said speaking with local media.

Alongside FAM and the clubs, Maldives' Sports Ministry as well as the Sports Commissioner's Office are also prepared to move forward with the outcome of FIFA's response. Ahead of their departure from Maldives, the FIFA delegation held meetings with Sports Minister Abdulla Raafiu and Commissioner of Sports Mohamed Tholal as well.

In a media briefing held last month, Tholal told local press that the delegation confirmed FIFA will be deciding upon the matter, and added that assurance was given of the government's compliance with the decision. Information on FAM required to be shared with FIFA was also provided to the delegation, he went on to say.

"Likewise, we also received information from the [FIFA delegation]," he said. "As FIFA and AFC are investigating the case and we were informed that a decision would be shared with us very soon, we have not proceeded with FAM's matters."

As of now, while FAM's leadership has not been penalised by FIFA, the association as a whole is on the receiving end of the governing body's scrutiny. As such FAM was skipped over when it came to the annual development fund grant given by FIFA to countries.

This also comes at a time when Bassam is the subject of ongoing investigations of fraud and misappropriation of FAM's funds. He currently stands charged of several such allegations and has a no fly order against him pending the outcome of these trials.

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