Postponed Baibalaa Tournament to be held soon

Baibalaa Association of the Maldives has said the Baibalaa Tournament that was indefinitely postponed last week would be held soon.

The Baibalaa Tournament scheduled to begin on May 3rd was postponed at the request of the Maldives Police Service following a string of physical altercations and attacks in Male' City since the eve of Eid day.

A statement issued by the Baibalaa Association said the association is the only union in the Maldives that promotes traditional sports. It condemned linking the Baibalaa sport to criminal activities in society.

Noting that 32 teams with over 1,000 players prepared endlessly for the first Baibalaa tournament since the COVID-19 pandemic, the association said the tournament was postponed just a day before it was scheduled to begin, on police request. However, the teams participating in the tournament had spent large amounts in preparation for the tournament and carried out practices in their own rings.

'Our main priority is to ensure the game is disciplined. We held discussions with the participating teams and the Association's steering committee to decide on a way forward after the police requested to halt the tournament due to a string of attacks in Male'. We have decided that we will take serious action against teams that go against the spirit of the game and community standards,' the statement read.

The association said the tournament is organized jointly with the police. They added that cameras had been installed at the tournament venue as per police instruction, and spectator areas had been designated.

'Therefore, the association has decided that the tournament for 1443H will be conducted as planned, and we are making the necessary arrangements,' the association said.