by Akhmeem Abdul Razzaq
- FAM should immediately stop the organizing and executing of football tournaments in the country. The role of FAM should be a governing body. The policy makers and innovators and provide consultancy to the clubs and companies and the tournaments that are organized by others in the country. Should be a body that provides a helping hand for any figure or minor body of the football community.
- The English Premier League and the Indian Super League are carried out by privately funded companies or bodies instead of the main football agency of the nation. The regulatory body and its role should be to maintain disciplinary records, regulating the referee’s association and help organize tournaments with the aid of foreign football related bodies and FIFA as well.
- In the late 1980s, English clubs decided to leave from the jurisdiction of the FA and form their own leagues. In 1990 the English Premier League was formed with little influence from the FA and in this manner, in 2012, after negotiations, the Indian Super League came to life in 2013 with little influence from the Indian Football Federation.
- The club Ali Ashfaq played in, DPMM FC is a club from Brunei that plays in the Malaysian League. And they have even played in the Singaporean League and have won it as well. This was possible because of the negotiations done between the Malaysian Singaporean Leagues to introduce an environment of competitive football among the neighboring leagues. The same principle was used a Monacoian club, Monaco FC played in the French League and clubs from the Wales play in the English Premier League as well. Hence I believe that there is no reason why that clubs from Maldives cannot take part in neighboring country’s leagues.
- The Maldives makes over 50 billion Rufiya and more than a billion of this is spent on advertising. If football is to be developed in the country, we need to spend enough of the tourism ad money on football as well. The official airlines of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are advertised heavily in the English Premier League, and many other countries use football as a means of advertising their tourism.
- If a Maldivian club is allowed to play and represent the nation in the nearby Indian Super League, Maldivian players would be able to play in a competitive league as well. Along with this our players can learn and grow as a team and as individual players due to the exposure they get from the atmosphere and foreign players of the Indian Super League as well. And as away matches would be played in the country, the national stadium will be filled with supporters as well.
- The Indian tourism market would flourish with over 50 million visitors in a US$40 billion tourist market by the end of 2020. Coincidentally, as the fastest growing influx of tourists is from the Indian market, with Mega Maldives and Maldivian getting ready to fly to new destinations in India, these numbers are expected to grow. Therefore, a football team dedicated to advertise and promote our tourism in India will hopefully be well endorsed by the tourism industry.
- The duration of the Indian Super League is only 8 weeks long. And if we broaden our first division league to 10 teams and allow the best players to play in the Maldivian club that plays in the Indian League would be given under strict guidance and advice from the national team coach as well. Another step we can take is to declare the second and third divisions annul and have zone leagues and interschool leagues or under 21 league.
If the Maldivian government can do the above mentioned points with the help of FIFA & other international organisations, the long lost beauty and hype among us maldivians for the beautiful game would be rekindled whilst making money and improving our player’s skillset.