The Football Association of Maldives (FAM) has been under scrutiny for procedural violations during its extraordinary congress. The meeting, intended to establish long-neglected committees, breached its statutes by not adhering to the mandated notification period for club members.

The extraordinary congress, convened to form crucial committees absent for four years, was initially planned as an online event. However, following objections from several clubs against the online format and their subsequent demand for a revision, FAM opted for a physical meeting, as disclosed in a statement on Wednesday.

Contrary to the statutory requirement of a six-day notice, clubs were informed merely two days in advance about the change to a physical congress. This action directly contravened Article 3 of Act 29 of the FAM statues, which dictates the protocol for announcing the date, location, and agenda of special congress meetings.

The congress, which experienced a 15-minute delay due to insufficient quorum, proceeded to establish the committees in its second session. Despite the requirement of 13 clubs for a quorum, only nine attended. According to Mohamed Jaushan Shareef, Acting General Secretary of FAM, the statues permits a second meeting within 24 hours without the quorum for specific agenda items, excluding elections, member expulsions, or FAM abolishment.

Some clubs had shown interest in participating, including those who initially opposed the online format. Nonetheless, their participation forms were not submitted within the designated timeframe. A request by FAM President Bassam Adeel Jaleel to approve these late submissions was unanimously declined at the start of the second congress.

The congress, reported to be observed by FIFA and AFC delegates, faced further criticism for excluding the media from significant discussions, particularly those concerning the appointment of members to the disciplinary and appeals committees, as well as the Electoral Committee and its Appeals Committee. These appointments were among the congress’s key agenda items, yet the sessions remained closed to the press.

This meeting’s controversies follow the spotlight on FAM’s governance, especially after Ahmed Thariq’s (Tom) appeal against the rejection of his election candidacy highlighted the absence of critical committees such as the Appeals, Ethics, and Disciplinary Committees. 

FAM has promised to disseminate information on the congress’s outcomes, maintaining its stance on privacy while facing mounting pressure for transparency and adherence to its statutory mandates.