FAM instructed to halt works related to election

Commissioner of Sports Mohamed Tholal. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Commissioner of Sports Mohamed Tholal, on Thursday, has instructed the Football Association of Maldives (FAM) to halt works related to the association’s election slated for next month.

Commissioner of Sports, in a statement, said his office had requested information regarding FAM’s Executive Committee losing the quorum, prompted by the resignation of several members, despite which the information was not provided within the timeframe asked.

As per the statement, his office had received copies of the resignation letters of five members of the Executive Committee. It was detailed that the first member resigned on September 16th, the second on October 5th and the remaining three on December 15th.

“It is noted that members were not appointed to these posts as per the association’s articles of association,” the statement read.

It was stressed in the statement that there were discrepancies between the date on which the election of FAM’s Executive Committee was announced and the dates on which the members had tendered their resignations. It was also noted that FAM’s operations violate the association’s articles of association while they have not provided the information requested by the Office of the Commissioner of Sports either.

Therewith, the Commissioner of Sports said he was instructing FAM to halt all works related to the election slated for January 31st until a decision is reached in the discussions with FIFA, AFC and Maldives Olympic Committee regarding how the operations of FAM can be carried out further.

Former president of FAM Bassam Adeel Jaleel lost his post on Tuesday following the resignation of multiple members of the Executive Committee.

Many football officials have claimed cases of corruption within FAM, with the association's president Bassam spearheading these efforts. Authorities have launched an investigation into the allegations. They suspected FAM’s top officials of misappropriating the funds it received from the international governing body of association football, FIFA.

Prosecutor General’s Office has said that investigators were able to collect key evidence in such financial crime investigations, committed through bank cards as suspects had used their bank cards for payments during trips, making the hotels and the shopping malls they visited known.

As per the office, authorities need some additional evidence before they can file formal charges.

FAM has not been able to pay its employees on a regular basis either. Additionally, they are also in hot water with FIFA over the non-payment of salaries to former national team technical staff. FIFA has dispersed USD 100,000 to the association, specifically to pay its employees, and is set to disperse an additional USD 200,000. 

The association is also knee-deep in debt with multiple cases underway in Maldivian courts against the association.

Bassam previously stated he would make a comment once the police finish their investigation. However, he has denied any misappropriation of funds from the association, adding audits from FIFA and AFC show no wrongdoing as well.