The Maldives has secured the top position among South Asian nations in the Fédération Internationale De Football Association (FIFA) futsal rankings, debuting at 110th worldwide. The global football governing body announced its first futsal rankings, listing the Maldives ahead of India and Nepal among South Asian countries.

Nepal ranks 121st, while India is placed 135th out of a total of 139 nations. Despite lacking resources and facilities to advance futsal, the Maldives has cultivated a passionate and vocal futsal culture, outperforming its regional neighbours in the sport.

In contrast, the Maldives slipped in the Women’s Futsal rankings, leaving Bangladesh as the sole South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) country on the list at 44th. Brazil, the global powerhouse of football, unsurprisingly dominated both male and female futsal rankings.

While futsal remains a low priority in the country, Club Maldives plans to present its first futsal awards in July following criticism over the absence of futsal recognition at last year’s Maldives Sports Awards. Concerns over the lack of an awards category for futsal players were raised by athletes who felt underappreciated despite their significant contributions to the sport.

Futsal tournaments in the Maldives often take place on outdoor courts, diverging from the traditional indoor setting of the game. Local teams have competed in the AFC Futsal Qualifiers over the past two years, practising on limited indoor courts that fail to meet FIFA’s standards.