The incumbent President of the Football Association of Maldives (FAM), Bassam Adeel Jaleel, has announced his decision not to seek re-election. The announcement comes against the backdrop of serious allegations of financial misappropriation and the looming possibility of facing multiple criminal charges.

Jaleel’s decision was made public shortly after FAM revealed the rescheduling of its election to January 2024, a move that accelerates the electoral process by six months from the scheduled conclusion of the current term.

In an official statement, Jaleel cited his desire to pave the way for new leadership within the association. However, critics suggest his withdrawal is a direct result of mounting pressure and a growing movement among football clubs and management members seeking his ouster due to the ongoing controversies.

The decision to expedite the election was determined during the latest executive committee meeting of FAM. Mohamed Jaushan Shareef, FAM’s General Secretary, informed the association’s media group that the election is now set for 31 January, with nominations closing at 2:00 p.m. on 27 December.