Ready for the new season?

Ready for the new season?
Club Green Streets Kudahuvadhoo Football Club Maalhos Sports Club Maziya Sports and Recreation Club New Radiant Sports Club

Few weeks away from the season opener. Are you ready for the premier league? Well if you are, don’t hold your breath, there will be a whole lot of football played before the premier league starts.

When I say we are few weeks away from the season, I don’t mean it’s the Premier League right away! Your favorite Premier League Club has to play a whole new league just to qualify to the Premier League. Re-introducing the the Male’ League, The FAM has opened the chance for the rest of the islands to perform in the highest level in the country.

The eight Premier League clubs will compete in the Male’ league, playing two rounds. Only the top four will qualify to the premier league. The bottom four will drop to another league called Male’ League Qualifying.

This league will have the champions and the runners-up from the Second Division competing with the four Male’ league drop-outs. Top four from this league will qualify to the following year’s Male league and the bottom two will drop to the Second Division.

We do not know the format for the Minivan Championships yet.

While the Premier will not be the strongest competition in the country this year, I believe that this paves the way for development in the atolls. In the future can we hope for Clubs from Male’ and the Atolls playing the Premier League in a home-away basis as played in better footballing nations? It’s too early to speculate but I certainly hope that where we are headed to.

In the future can we hope for Clubs from Male’ and the Atolls playing the Premier League in a home-away basis as played in better footballing nations?

While it all looks very attractive there is drawback to this. All eight clubs that qualifies to the Premier League has to go through the same process to qualify the next year. This could see next year’s Premier League with completely different clubs. This in itself be imense pressure for those high spending clubs in the Male’ League. More pressure will be on Minivan Championship clubs. They have to spend as much as the high spending Male’ League Clubs to compete, otherwise their best players will be leaving at the end of each season. While Male’ League Clubs have to compete in a eight club league, how many clubs will a Minivan Championship club have to compete in? Worse still can they repeat the feat the next season to make it back into the Premier League the next year?

 Only time will tell how this will effect the overall football in the country. One things is sure though, Minivan Championship fans take their football seriously. It is very likely that they will halt the declining support for club football.

(photo: Maldivesoccer)





The Premier League:

  • Top four from the Male’ League
  • Top Four from Minivan Championship

Male’ League:

  • Existing Top Flight Teams
  • Top four to the Premier League
  • Bottom four drops to the Qualifiers

Male’ League Qualifiers:

  • Bottom four from Male’ League
  • Finalists from the Second Division
  • Round Robin of six teams
  • Top Four goes to back to Male’ League
  • Bottom two drops to Division two

17 January 2017