'Results of current efforts will become evident in six years': Youth Minister

Youth and Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof has said that the results of the facilities being established for sports will be seen in six years.

In response to a question by Faresmathoda MP Hossain Mohamed Lateef in Parliament on Wednesday, Minister Mahloof said he believes the government is doing a lot to promote football in the Maldives. Noting that when football was not enjoyed in the atolls when the current government came into power, said the government gives attention to the establishment of large football stadiums, which has resulted in football being once again played as a leisure sport in islands. Football is now played in the form of futsal on mini football pitches, he said.

"It is necessary to establish pitches in islands, start the sport again and reach a good result. Our hope is that the results of the facilities that are being established today will be seen in five or six years," Mahloof said.

Mahloof further said children now play football in island stadiums, similar to how children used to play football in Male' stadiums. He said skilled and talented players would be produced as a result of the change.

Mahloof said concerns that the Maldives football teams are not able to achieve desirable results in football matches had been shared with the President of the Football Association of Maldives (FAM), Bassam Ali. While the government invests well in football, it is important to arrange things such that the team is well prepared, he said.

Mahloof further said millions of people from India, Bangladesh and Nepal spend millions on their football, and the results are evident. While the Maldives does not have similar resources, it will be difficult to match with their level, he said.