The Football Association of Maldives (FAM) announced an extraordinary congress to elect members to various committees, in response to interventions by global and regional football governing bodies FIFA and AFC. 

In response to the directives from FIFA and AFC, FAM’s executive committee decided to cancel the FAM elections scheduled for 31 January. Instead, it will establish committees in accordance with the rules and subsequently hold fresh elections at a later date.

The congress is to be held online on 8 February, with FAM declining to address why it is done so. The agenda includes election of members to its Disciplinary Committee and Appeals Committee under the mandate of the Judicial Committee; as well as an Electoral Appeals Committee and a new Electoral Committee.

The call for an extraordinary congress by 10 FAM member clubs was prompted prior to FIFA and AFC’s concerns over the rejection of Ahmed Thariq’s candidacy. FAM rules dictate that a congress must be convened if the majority of member clubs request it, and currently, there are 18 member clubs in the association.

FAM earlier issued a statement asserting its commitment to safeguarding the interests of all its members. The association emphasised that it would not infringe upon any member’s rights and would work diligently to ensure the rights of all members are protected.

FIFA and AFC had instructed FAM to suspend its presidential election, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the FAM Electoral Committee, which had nullified Ahmed ‘Tom’ Thariq’s candidacy. Thariq, a former FAM president and the current Member of Parliament for Mahibadhoo, had filed a complaint with the global and regional football governing bodies, leading to their intervention.

Additionally, FAM had sought guidance from FIFA and AFC regarding the absence of an electoral appeal committee. Both FIFA and AFC have declared the current electoral process invalid and demanded that FAM comply with the Electoral Code by appointing members to the Electoral Committee and Electoral Appeal Committee through a congress. This would necessitate restarting the entire election process.

FIFA and AFC have affirmed their close monitoring of all activities related to the FAM election to ensure a fair and transparent process.