Maldives central bank on Wednesday unveiled the new MVR5 currency note with a tribute to the support and enthusiasm locals have for football.
Though the face of the footballer carrying the ball is not visible on the new note's observe and Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) refused to confirm, it is undeniably the signature poise of football legend and captain Ali Ashfaq.
Ashfaq nicknamed 'Dhagandey' (iron-man) is widely regarded as one of the best players in south Asia region along with India's Baichung Bhutia. Renowned for his devastating burst of pace, amazing dribbling skills and a lethal left foot, Ashfaq has made history by becoming the first footballer to be featured on a currency note currently in circulation.
MMA said the last of the new polymer note which would be introduced into circulation in July, is part of the new currency series 'Ran Dhihafaheh'.
The new MVR5 note symbolizes communication and social connectivity with the conch shell - a medium used by the government to gather people to communicate with them in early days on the reverse.
MMA said it would conduct campaigns across the country to raise public awareness on the new note before it officially enters circulation.
The Ran Dhiha Faheh currency series feature the notes MVR 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and the brand new MVR 1,000 note. MMA had originally intended to replace the current MVR 5 cash note with coins but later altered the plan to print MVR 5 on polymer instead.
Meanwhile, MMA also plans to release a new MVR 2 coin, which they stated will be lighter than the current coin.