The eagerly anticipated press conference announced by the Football Association of Maldives (FAM) President Bassam Adeel Jaleel has been rescheduled for Tuesday, leaving journalists and observers in a state of uncertainty. 

Last month, following the Maldives’ first-ever group stage exit in the SAFF Championship, Bassam, in a message sent to the FAM media group on 27 June, said he would address the media upon his return from the Hajj pilgrimage. 

Bassam stated that he would meet “everyone” at a press conference on 15 July and answer all the questions. However, as the sun set on Friday, the time and location of the conference remained undisclosed, despite repeated inquiries from journalists. Neither Bassam nor any other FAM official provided any response until 7:30 p.m.

To the disappointment of many, Bassam decided to postpone the press conference to 2 p.m. Tuesday, but no details regarding the venue have yet been disclosed. Traditionally, FAM press conferences are held in the seminar room of the Galolhu Stadium.

This delay in communication comes at a time when the FAM is grappling with significant financial challenges. Just last week, a majority of the association’s employees refused to attend work, with some administrative staff members going unpaid for four months. Shockingly, certain members of the national team’s coaching staff have not received their salaries for eight months. The national team’s goalkeeping coach, Aslam Abdul Raheem, chose not to travel with the national team to this year’s SAFF Championship. Reports suggest that his decision was influenced by nine months of non-payment. Aslam has chosen to remain silent on the matter when approached by the media.

During the FAM’s annual general meeting held late last year to approve its budget of MVR 85 million for 2023, Bassam proposed renting out land parcels allocated to the organisation as a means to cover a significant portion of the budget. However, the FAM finds itself ensnared in a financial crisis, failing to fulfil its obligations, including payments to clubs.

It has also been reported that over MVR1 million gifted to the national team by renowned businessman Champa Mohamed Moosa (Uchu) in October 2021 has yet to be distributed among the players, raising concerns about the transparency and financial management of the FAM.