nine years ago today Maldives won the SAFF championship but things have taken a turn for the worst ever since.

Nine years ago today the Maldivian national team lifted the SAFF championship in Colombo in one of the biggest moments of Maldivian football. Big things were expected of the red snappers from that day on However Maldives has played in just one final ever since and were knocked out in the last three semifinals.

Mukhtar Naseer's 87th minute strike saw the whole national burst out open with joy and Maldives were believed to become South Asia's best team but sadly that wasn't to be the case.

Maldives have always had the best talent in the region and have always taken teams that were very capable to the SAFF championship.

But just like in Brazil the world's finest footballing nation internal disputes within the football Association and players have seen Maldivian football take a turn for the worst. Quick change of coaches don't help the case either.

During the final in 2008 close to twenty thousand Maldives fans attended the Sugathadasa Stadium. A game that was played away from home.

But as years went by and with all the problems that Maldivian football faced and with the poor results the attendance for both National and league matches have fallen drastically and today tickets for league matches no longer are sold and entrance is free. Despite free entry attendance for league games see attendances of less than hundreds.

Even for National teams games more than half of the stadium is empty but things used to be so different when a sold out crowd turn up for games.

The fact that 90% of the country is isolated from its top football league doesn't help. Changes have been made to overcome the issues but the outcome is to be seen in the near future.


14 June 2017