Football Association of Maldives (FAM) has stated that the association is yet to decide on leaving the newly founded ‘South West Asian Football Association' (SWAFF).
Quite shockingly, All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) announced The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) comprising Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan unanimously decided to pull out of SWAFF with immediate effect on October 30, in a meeting held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
According to local media, 'Mihaaru News', FAM's General Secretary, Hussain Javaaz stated that the association finds it difficult to make such a crucial decision at short notice and that the Executive Committee must convene before coming to a resolution.
SWAFF was developed with the approval of the FIFA and AFC. The Federation comprised of 14 countries in its inception. Since the departure of the South Asian nations, SWAFF has 8 member nations.
President of the Olympic Committee of Maldives, Mohamed Shaweed, who sits on the executive committee of AFC, was elected as the Vice-President of SWAFF. Saudi Arabian Football Federation's president, Dr. Adel Bin Mohammed Ezzat' was elected as President.
According to Times Of India, “SWAFF was originally thought to be a body consisting of all members from the West Asia (West Asian Football Federation) and South Asia. West Asia doesn't have all its countries involved in SWAFF, so it's an incomplete organization. When West Asia itself is divided, there was no point of continuing. Initially, we didn't understand (the division)" said AIFF President, Praful Patel.
West Asian countries including Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Qatar are not member nations of the SWAFF.
FAM's President, Bassam Adeel Jaleel, who participated in SWAFF's first congress had previously expressed that Maldives will benefit from the membership. He stated that the federation will provide many opportunities to develop Maldivian football.
The association led by Saudi Arabia, was founded on August after the association held it's first congress in Jeddah.