FIFA and AFC have notified the Football Association of Maldives (FAM) that they will send a joint team to the Maldives to assess the issues surrounding the FAM election.

FIFA and AFC had recently instructed FAM, in a letter, to postpone the election scheduled for 20 April, with the local footballing body’s acting General Secretary Mohamed Jaushan Shareef now confirming that a joint FIFA-AFC team will soon arrive in the Maldives to assess issues relating to the association.

“The joint letter sent by FIFA and AFC indicates that a joint FIFA and AFC team will be sent to Maldives,” Shareef said, explaining that he is currently not aware of the exact date of the team’s arrival. “They can come without warning,” he said.

The world and regional football governing bodies have indicated their intention to send a joint team to the Maldives at a time several clubs have complained to FIFA about the FAM’s congress held last month.

FAM had held a special congress to elect its electoral and appeal committees; however, the validity of the congress has been cast into question, with a majority of football clubs being excluded from the process, despite FIFA’s previous insistence that it be carried out in accordance with the local football association’s bylaws.

The FIFA-AFC team is expected to meet with the clubs in order to conduct an independent assessment, similar to a previous visit by FIFA and AFC to the Maldives when a no-confidence motion was filed against FAM President Bassam Adeel Jaleel in 2019. After meeting with clubs that sponsored the no-confidence motion, some clubs withdrew their support, leading the the FIFA-AFC team to conclude that the resolution was without merit and that a congress regarding the issue was unwarranted.

However, in January of this year, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) of Maldives charged Jaleel with embezzlement and money laundering. This followed an investigation into the misappropriation of US$10,000 from funds provided to FAM by FIFA and AFC.