U16 national side also begins the preparations.

Along with U19 national side, U16 team also have started their training under Coach Mohamed Shaazly, the former coach of Victory Sports Club and BG Sports. Shaazly holds a AFC Pro liecene in coaching. And Ahmed Naashidh (Naadh) will be working as Shaazly’s assistant coach in the team.

First tournament in this year for U16 will be “U16 SAFF Championship” in this coming August 2017. This year’s tournament will be the fourth edition of U16 SAFF and is expected to host by Nepal. Maldives has already participated in 2 of the 3 tournament, only missing 2013 version. It is expected that 7 countries from SAFF will take part in the tournament while the draw is yet to be finalized.

Next comes, “AFC U16 Championship 2018 Qualifiers”. Just after U16 SAFF, in September, U16 national side has to depart for the AFC U16 Championship 2018 Qualifiers. 45 countries from 47 AFC member countries will be participating in the qualifiers. As already the draw for the qualifiers have being finalized, from 10 groups, 45 nations will be competing to get a spot in final 16 teams (The 10 group winners and 5 best group runner-ups and the final tournament hosting country) for the AFC U16 Championship 2018, the 18th version of it.

AFC U16 Championship 2018 Qualifiers draw results
AFC U16 Championship 2018 Qualifiers draw results

Each group's qualifying fixtures will be hosted by one country but different from the other group's hosts. Maldives is placed in group B with strong contenders, Oman, Tajikistan, Syria and Turkmenistan. This group’s qualifying matches will be hosted in Tajikistan from 16th to 24th September 2017. In Maldives first match, Maldives will face Turkmenistan on 16th September 2017.

05 July 2017