A team of FIFA auditors have arrived in Maldives to investigate allegations of money laundering at the Football Association of Maldives (FAM). The auditors are set to look into the FAM’s financial accounts and meet with some of the biggest clubs in the country.

The Prosecutor General’s Office had, earlier in October of 2023, instructed the Police to investigate serious allegations related to the FAM wherein the association’s offices were raided and hard disks, along with other documentation, were confiscated. Authorities allege that the FAM had misappropriated funds with some of the allegations leading directly to FAM President Bassam Adeel Jaleel.

The FIFA auditors, according to local media, are keen to get access to information gained from the police investigation. “They [FIFA auditors] are meeting with many people involved in football,” an FAM insider shared with local media on condition of anonymity.

With the current uproar, Jaleel had decided not to contest the upcoming elections. He is, however, exerting his influence on the election, according to a disenfranchised campaigner.

While Jaleel is out of contention, two candidates will contest for the top job at FAM. Former national team striker, and current Member of Parliament for Mahibadhoo, Ahmed Thariq — who was president of the FAM before Jaleel’s tenure — and Mufaviz Hashim, who represents local football club ‘Eagles’ on the FAM’s executive committee, are set to go head to head in the election.

While some allege that Jaleel is, behind the scenes, trying to invalidate Thariq’s candidacy, Thariq is contesting with the support of local clubs ‘Valencia’, ‘Maziya’ and ‘TC’. Mufaviz, along with the remaining five first division teams, has stated that he also has Valencia’s approval. According to FAM rules, a candidate must have the approval of at least three first division clubs to contest for president.

As both candidates have received endorsement from Valencia, the FAM has asked for the AFC’s advice on the matter.

Meanwhile, Valencia has written to FAM stating the club’s approval was only issued to Thariq and that any purported document giving consent to Mufaviz is a forgery.