Sports Minister: Funds to FAM not withheld, govt. need not to be responsible for debt

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof speaks at the Parliament. (Photo/Parliament)

Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof, on Monday, has stated that funds owed to Football Association of Maldives (FAM) have not been withheld by the Sports Ministry– adding that the government needs not to bare any responsibility for the Association’s debt.

Responding to a question by Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb during Monday’s parliamentary sitting – Minister Mahloof said that FAM’s failure to settle their debts is not due to the Ministry’s failure to provide them with the owed funds.

Underscoring that national associations are formed on the basis of being responsible for their own debt – Minister Mahloof said that the Ministry does not need to bare responsibility for it.

FAM has been embroiled in allegations of failure to pay coaches, athletes, and their own staff. STELCO recently cut off electricity to the FAM House over MVR 6.5 million in outstanding bills. FAM, in an attempt to settle its debt to a private company, has also agreed to trade part of the land rented by the Association.

Commenting regarding the matter, Minister Mahloof said that there were concerns regarding FAM’s dilemmas, and avenues were being explored to solve them. He added that FAM provided assurance to the Ministry to settle the debts as soon as possible.

FIFA rules stated that the government nor a third party can be involved in any of FAM’s undertakings. If the rule is violated, there is a chance of Maldives facing suspension.