Football Association of Maldives (FAM)'s President Bassam Adeel Jaleel stated that the government-funded National Football Academy, located in the reclaimed suburb of Hulhumale', will commence during the year.
The project was inaugurated by Minister of Youth and Sports Iruthisham Adam, FAM President Bassam and Housing Development Corporation (HDC)'s Managing Director Ahmed Nasif on July 2018, with the construction scheduled to conclude in September. The construction period has since exceeded the estimated duration.
FAM stated that the construction was delayed due to unforeseen technical and weather-related difficulties.
The first phase of the academy will consist of an office space, a turf ground, an accommodation block, a gym and a mosque, with additional pitches to be established on the premises in the second and last phase of the project.
Sports Minister Iruthisham Adam revealed a budget of USD 1 million has been allocated for the development of the first phase of the building, adding that the government has also provided a land of 230,000 square feet for the project.
According to FAM, the academy will facilitate youth aged 13 to 17 years of age in the form of a boarding institution, catering to 100 athletes at a time. The youngsters will be provided a quality academic education along with their athlete training.
FAM’s Deputy Technical Director, Ihsan Abdul Ghani stated that a team from the association will travel across the Maldives during the following three months, in order to select the 100 young athletes that will be presented the opportunity to join the academy.
FAM stated that the initial target group at the commencement of the academy will focus on young boys and has urged football clubs across the nation to support the plan formulated by the football association.