A team of officials from FIFA, the world football governing body, and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Asia’s football governing body, arrived in the Maldives on Sunday to assess the state of football in the country.

The team will look into actions by the Football Association of the Maldives (FAM), which stands accused of corruption and misappropriation of funds, including those provided by FIFA. FIFA and AFC have twice now, in three months, stepped in to prevent elections at FAM from going forward, citing irregularities and the local organisation’s failure to meet its own standards as well as those set globally and regionally by the global and regional governing bodies.

FAM’s second round of elections had initially been scheduled for Saturday.

FIFA and AFC will evaluate the status of FAM, and the state of football in the Maldives, before elections can proceed. Upon arrival, they are set to consult with various stakeholders over three days.

The team of officials will meet with the clubs; many of whom did not have the opportunity to participate in the FAM’s last extraordinary congress. They are also scheduled to meet the Commissioner of Sports, Mohamed Tholal, and the Maldives Olympic Committee.

A FIFA team of officials had earlier visited the Maldives in 2019, to determine if a no-confidence motion of the then FAM president, Bassam Adheel Jaleel, had moved forward in accordance with the rules and procedures of the governing organisations—Jaleel was extended a lifeline when FIFA determined conditions were not met and that the clubs did not have sufficient cause to move forward with a no-confidence motion.

However, FAM currently finds itself in a vastly different situation. FIFA’s cooperation with the FAM is at an all time low as the global organisation has also stopped providing development funds to the national footballing body.

The Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) of the Maldives, in January, indicted Jaleel, charging him with embezzlement and money laundering following an investigation into the misappropriation of funds allocated to FAM by FIFA and AFC. The PGO outlined that most of the US$12 million (MVR 191 million) received by the FAM from international organisations between January 2018 and October 2023 had been misappropriated by Bassam towards his own personal gain.