Maldives national football team

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Maldives
Nickname(s) The Sea, Red Snapper
Association Football Association of Maldives (FAM)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation SAFF (South Asia)
Head coach Petar Segrt
Captain Imran Mohamed
Most caps Imran Mohamed (at least 95)[1]
Top scorer Ali Ashfaq (52)[2]
Home stadium National Football Stadium
FIFA code MDV
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 150 Steady (16 August 2018)
Highest 126 (July–August 2006)
Lowest 183 (August–September 1997)
Elo ranking
Current 198 (31 March 2018)
Highest 165 (23 March 2011)
Lowest 209 (13 June 1997)
First international
 Seychelles 9–0 Maldives Maldives
(Réunion; 27 August 1979)
Biggest win
Maldives Maldives 12–0 Mongolia 
(Male, Maldives; 3 December 2003)
Biggest defeat
 Iran 17–0 Maldives Maldives
(Damascus, Syria; 2 June 1997)
Maldives national football team
Medal record
Men’s Football
South Asian Games
Bronze medal – third place 1984 Kathmandu Team
Silver medal – second place 1991 Colombo Team
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Dhaka Team

The Maldives national football team represents the Maldives in the sport of football, and is controlled by the Football Association of Maldives. A member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), it qualified for the second stage of Asian qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, where it drew with South Korea at home 0–0.

The Maldives' most significant success was winning the 2008 SAFF Championship where they beat the most successful team India in the final 1–0.[3]

History[edit]

South Asian Football Championship[edit]

1997 South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup[edit]

This was the third edition of SAFF Cup which was held in Kathmandu, Nepal, and it was Maldives' first campaign in this regional tournament.

Maldives was placed in the group B with India and Bangladesh, where they advanced into the semi final as the group's second team with two points in hand. They drew their first match against Bangladesh with the help of Lirugham Saeed's only goal. In the second match, they drew against the India 2–2, in which Ibrahim Rasheed and Mohamed Nizam came scoring when the Red Snappers were at a two-goal deposit.

Maldives went on to win the semi final match 2–1 against Sri Lanka with Shah Ismail and Mohamed Nizam on the scoreline, but lost the final match to India by 5–1, where Adam Abdul Latheef scored the only goal for Maldives.

1999 South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup[edit]

In this edition of SAFF Cup, hosted in Fatorda Stadium, Goa, India, Maldives were grouped with Nepal and Sri Lanka, where Maldives finished at the top of the group B.

First match against Sri Lanka ended as a goalless draw while they managed to win 3–2 against the Nepal. Shah Ismail, Mohamed Wildhan and Mausoom Abdul Gafoor scored the goals for Maldives in this match.

Maldives had to face the two times SAFF Cup champion India in the semi final and lost the game by 2–1, where Mohamed Wildhan scored against the Blue Tigers. Though they failed to qualify for the Final of the tournament, they claimed the bronze by defeating Nepal in the third place play-off match by 2–0. Mohamed Wildhan and Mohamed Ibrahim were the goal scorers.

Mohamed Wildhan shared the top scorer award with Nepal's Naresh Joshi, India's Baichung Bhutia and Bangladesh's Mihazur Rehman scoring three goals each in this competition.

2003 South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup[edit]

In the 2003 SAFF Gold Cup held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Maldives were drawn in the group B along with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.

Maldives won their first match 6–0 a record win of the highest number of goals scored by a team in a single match in this tournament history against Bhutan, with Maldives' first hat-trick in the regional tournament, scored by Ali Shiham. Mohamed Nizam, Ashraf Luthfy and Ali Umar scored one goal each in this victory. Despite the 1–0 loss to Bangladesh in the second match, Maldives won their third match against Nepal and they were through into the semi final of the tournament as the group runners-up. Mohamed Nizam, Ashraf Luthfy and Ali Umar scored in their 3–2 win over Nepal.

Ibrahim Fazeel scored the only goal against Pakistan in the semi final, which helped them to reach the final for the second time. Ali Umar's only goalin the second half helped Maldives to survive until the penalty shootout in the final match against Bangladesh, but Maldives lost 5–3 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium where Ahmed Naaz, Ismail Naseem and Ibrahim Fazeel succeeded to convert it from the spot but Ashraf Luthfy failed.

2005 South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup[edit]

In 2005, the tournament was held in Pakistan and Maldives were drawn with Afghanistan and Sri Lanka along with the host Pakistan in group A.

Maldives started their campaign by breaking their own record created in the previous edition 2003, scoring a highest number of goals by a team in a single match. They won the first match 9–1 against Afghanistan. Ibrahim Fazeel and Ahmed Thoriq both scored a hat-trick while Ali Ashfaq scored a brace and Ali Umar scored their opener. They won their second match against Sri Lanka 2–0 with goals from Ali Ashfaq and Ali Umar, while they ended at the top of the group, leaving the host Pakistan in second even after the goalless draw against them in the final group stage match.

Even though Maldives lost the semi final match against India by one goal to nil, the top scorer award was shared by three of the Maldivian players; Ibrahim hassan, Ali Ashfaq and Ahmed Thoriq scored three goals each.

2008 SAFF Championship winners[edit]

The 2008 SAFF Championship draw, which took place on 26 February 2007, placed Maldives in group A, alongside Nepal, India, and Pakistan. Maldives started with a comfortable 3–0 win over Pakistan, with the goals from Mohamed Shifan, Ahmed Thoriq and an own goal from Naveed Akram.[4] In their second match they defeated Nepal by two goals each, from Ismail Mohamed and Ibrahim Fazeel.[5] They lost their last group stage match against India, 0–1.[6]

They advanced to the semi-finals and defeated Sri Lanka 0–1, with a brilliant goal from Ibrahim Fazeel from a pass given by Ali Ashfaq. They then advanced to the final for the third time in the SAFF Championship history.[7]

In the final three minutes of full-time during the SAFF Championship final against the four time SAFF Championship Champions India, Mukhthar Naseer scored a single goal from a corner kick taken by Ali Ashfaq, winning the SAFF Championship for Maldives for the first time in their history. Maldives won the SAFF Championship by scoring nine goals and conceding two.[8]

In 2008 SAFF Championship, Ali Ashfaq won the Best Player award. Maldives was the team who scored the most goals in this year's competition along with the rivals India. They were also the team who conceded the fewest goals in the tournament.

The SAFF Championship was Maldives first ever gold medal in Maldivian Football history, and to celebrate this memorable day the President declared that 15 June 2008 will be a public holiday. The only goal scored in the final match of Mukhthar was his first international goal for the Maldives national football team.

2009 SAFF Championship[edit]

Maldives were drawn with the rivals India in group A, along with Afghanistan and Nepal.[9]

Maldives started their campaign as the defending champions, facing a 1–1 draw where The Gorkhalis did not allow the red snappers win the match with the only goal by Ahmed Thoriq. In their second match they defeated Afghanistan by 3–1 with two goals from Ali Ashfaq and one from Ahmed Thoriq. Their next match against rival India on 9 December was won by 2–0, Ahmed Thoriq and Ibrahim Fazeel scoring the goals which took them into the semi finals as group A winners, finishing the group stage ahead of India.[10]

In the semi final, they defeated Sri Lanka with a comfortable score line of 5–1[11] where Ibrahim Fazeel scored two goals and Ahmed Thoriq, Ali Ashfaq and Ashad Ali scored one goal each, but they lost 3–1 to eventual winners India from a penalty shootout in the final after playing 120 minutes without seeing a goal from either sides. Ibrahim Fazeel was the only player to score in the penalty shootout for Maldives while Ahmed Thoriq, Mukhthar Naseer and Ali Ashfaq failed to convert it from the spot.[12]

Ahmed Thoriq shared the top scorer award with Bangladesh's Enamul Haque and Sri Lanka's Channa Ediri Bandanage scoring four goals each in this competition.

This was the second time Maldives lost the SAFF Championship final in penalties, and Bangabandhu National Stadium was the venue on both occasions.

2011 SAFF Championship[edit]

The 2011 SAFF Championship hosted in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi was the tournament with Maldives' worst result. Even though Maldives managed to qualify for the semi finals as the group winner, Maldives ended their campaign with only one win, two draws and losing one game, scoring and conceding 5 goals.

Maldives were in the group B, drawn with Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. They drew 1–1 against Nepal with Ali Ashfaq's only goal and their second game against Pakistan ended goalless. Maldives finished the group stage with a 3–1 win over Bangladesh, with Ahmed Thoriq's brace and Ali Ashfaq's goal.

Maldives lost 3–1 to India in the semi final, Shamweel Qasim scoring Maldives' only goal.

2013 SAFF Championship[edit]

Maldives were drawn in the group B alongside Afghanistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.

They started the group stage by renewing their record of scoring the most goals by a team in a single game; winning 10–0 against Sri Lanka.[13] In this match, skipper Ali Ashfaq scored a double hat-trick and broke the record of India's IM Vijayan who holds the record of all-time top scorer of the tournament with 12 goals.[14] He also made a new record of scoring the highest number of goals by a single player in a match in the tournament. Remaining goals of this match came from Assadhulla Abdulla, Hassan Adhuham, Ali Fasir and Ali Umar.

In their second match, Ali Ashfaq scored four goals and Ali Fasir scored a brace while Mohammad Umair and Ali Umar scored one goal each in the 8–2 win against Bhutan.[15] Maldives' third match of the group stage against Afghanistan ended goalless.[16]

However, Maldives faced India for a record fourth time in a semi final match of this competition, and never won a semi final match against them as Maldives lost 1–0 in this semi final match at the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium, Kathmandu, Nepal.[17]

Ali Ashfaq won the Golden Boot Award, scoring 10 goals in the whole competition.[18] He now holds the record of competition's all-time top scorer with 18 goals, and the player to score the highest number of goals in one SAFF Championship; 10. India's IM Vijayan was the previous player to hold this record, scoring 6 goals in the 1997 edition.

Asian Cup and World Cup qualifications[edit]

Maldives has never qualified for such big tournaments and often classified as a weaker team in the continent. Nonetheless, Maldives achieved several impressive result. During 2006 World Cup qualification, Maldives stunned by drawing South Korea, an Asian powerhouse, 0–0 at home; and defeating Vietnam, a rising Asian team, in the same ground an impressive 3–0. However, its worst defeat also occurred in the World Cup qualification as they were thrashed 0–17 by Iran in Damascus during 1998 World Cup qualification.

Team image[edit]

Media coverage[edit]

All Maldives matches are broadcast with full commentary on Television Maldives and Dhivehi Raajjeyge Adu Radio Live.

Home stadium[edit]

National Football Stadium (Dhivehi: ގައުމީ ފުޓުބޯޅަ ދަނޑު) is a multi-purpose stadium in Malé, Maldives. It is used mostly for football matches of the Dhivehi League, Maldives FA Cup, and International matches. The stadium holds around 11,850 spectators.[19]

Supporters[edit]

About 11,500 Maldivian supporters, including the former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom, attended to see the 2008 SAFF Championship final match in Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka. After their win, many supporters, together with ministers, gave a warm welcome to the team on their return with their first gold medal. To celebrate this memorable day the President declared that 15 June 2008 will be a public holiday.

Colours[edit]

Maldives' home kit comprises a red jersey and red shorts – red is the national colour of the Maldives, and represents the boldness of the nation's heroes.

Kits[edit]

Adidas was the kit provider to the national team since 2011 to 2015.

Joma a sponsorship deal that began in 2015.

Home[edit]

2008,2013
2009
2010
2011–2012
2013–2014
2014–2015
2015–

Away[edit]

2008
2011–2012
2013–2014
2014–2015
2015–

Third[edit]

2013–2014
2014–2015

Coaching staff[edit]

Manager Mohamed Easa
Head Coach Croatia Petar Segrt
Assistant Coach Maldives Ahmed Shakir (Shakittey)
Goalkeeping coach Maldives Aslam Abdul Raheem
Kitman Maldives
Physiotherapist Maldives Ahmed Raafiu

Current squad[edit]

The following players were named for 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying match against Palestine on 14 November 2017.[20]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
22 1GK Mohamed Faisal (1988-09-04) 4 September 1988 (age 29) 10 0 Maldives New Radiant
18 1GK Abdulla Ziyazan (1988-06-24) 24 June 1988 (age 30) 0 0 Maldives New Radiant
1 1GK Hussain Shareef (1998-09-05) 5 September 1998 (age 19)[21] 0 0 Maldives Maziya

4 2DF Hussain Sifaau (1996-02-04) 4 February 1996 (age 22) 1 1 Maldives Egles
2 2DF Ali Samooh (1996-07-05) 5 July 1996 (age 22) 9 0 Maldives Maziya
15 2DF Amdhan Ali (1992-09-11) 11 September 1992 (age 25) 25 1 Maldives Maziya
17 2DF Shafiu Ahmed (1987-03-16) 16 March 1987 (age 31) 48 0 Maldives Green Streets
19 2DF Mohamed Rasheed (1985-04-15) 15 April 1985 (age 33) 30 1 Maldives New Radiant
14 2DF Rilwan Waheed (1991-02-14) 14 February 1991 (age 27) 20 0 Maldives New Radiant
13 2DF Akram Abdul Ghanee (1987-03-19) 19 March 1987 (age 31) 50 0 Maldives New Radiant
3 2DF Mohamed Saaif (1994-03-17) 17 March 1994 (age 24) 2 0 Maldives Green Streets
24 2DF Mohamed Azzam (1990-02-13) 13 February 1990 (age 28) 1 0 Maldives TC Sports Club

12 3MF Ashad Ali (1986-09-14) 14 September 1986 (age 31) 51 3 Maldives Maziya
5 3MF Mohamed Irufaan (1994-07-24) 24 July 1994 (age 24) 2 0 Maldives Maziya
11 3MF Ali Fasir (1988-09-04) 4 September 1988 (age 29) 41 11 Maldives New Radiant
10 3MF Hamza Mohamed (1995-02-17) 17 February 1995 (age 23) 24 1 Maldives New Radiant
8 3MF Mohamed Umair (1988-07-03) 3 July 1988 (age 30) 55 6 Maldives Maziya
6 3MF Imran Nasheed (1988-08-14) 14 August 1988 (age 30) 8 0 Maldives G. Dh. Thinadhoo
16 3MF Ibrahim Rizuhaan (1996-09-21) 21 September 1996 (age 21)[22] 0 0 Maldives Green Streets
23 2DF Ahmed Zaad (1988-01-18) 18 January 1988 (age 30) 6 0 Maldives TC Sports Club
20 2DF Ibrahim Waheed Hassan (1995-11-15) 15 November 1995 (age 22)[23] 0 0 Maldives TC Sports Club

7 4FW Ali Ashfaq (captain) (1985-09-06) 6 September 1985 (age 32) 77 52 Maldives New Radiant
9 4FW Naiz Hassan (1996-05-10) 10 May 1996 (age 22) 15 3 Maldives TC Sports Club
21 3MF Ahmed Rizuvan (1995-06-04) 4 June 1995 (age 23) 4 0 Maldives G. Dh. Thinadhoo
26 4FW Jørgen Sørensen (1993-08-24) 24 August 1993 (age 24)[24] 0 0 Maldives TC Sports Club

Recent call-ups[edit]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Mohamed Imran 0 Maldives Victory Sports Club

3 2DF Mohamed Shifan (1983-03-08) 8 March 1983 (age 35) 15 1 Maldives New Radiant
13 2DF Akram Abdul Ghanee (1987-03-19) 19 March 1987 (age 31) 27 3 Maldives New Radiant
8 2DF Rilwan Waheed (1991-02-14) 14 February 1991 (age 27) 5 0 Maldives New Radiant
2DF Faruhad Ismail 0 Maldives Maziya

20 3MF Moosa Yaamin 0 Maldives Maziya
23 3MF Ahmed Niyaz 0 Maldives New Radiant
10 3MF Mohamed Umair (1988-07-03) 3 July 1988 (age 30) 31 3 Maldives Maziya
16 3MF Hussain Niyaz Mohamed (1987-03-19) 19 March 1987 (age 31) 5 0 Maldives Maziya
4FW Ashad Ali (1985-09-14) 14 September 1985 (age 32) 28 2 Maldives New Radiant

21 4FW Hassan Adhuham (1990-01-08) 8 January 1990 (age 28) 13 3 Maldives Club Eagles
4FW Ahmed Imaz (1992-04-12) 12 April 1992 (age 26) 3 0 Maldives Maziya

Coaches[edit]

Recent results and fixtures[edit]

  Win   Draw   Loss

Competitive record[edit]

World Cup record[edit]

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to Mexico 1986 Did not enter Did not enter
Italy 1990 Withdrew Withdrew
United States 1994 Did not enter Did not enter
France 1998 Did not qualify 6 0 0 6 0 59
South Korea Japan 2002 6 1 1 4 8 19
Germany 2006 8 3 1 4 18 14
South Africa 2010 2 1 0 1 2 3
Brazil 2014 2 0 0 2 0 5
Russia 2018 8 2 0 6 8 20
Qatar 2022 To be determined
Canada Mexico United States 2026
Total 0/21 32 7 2 23 36 120

Asian Cup record[edit]

AFC Asian Cup Finals record AFC Asian Cup qualification record
Hosts / year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA GP W D* L GS GA
British Hong Kong 1956 Did not enter
South Korea 1960
Israel 1964
Iran 1968
Thailand 1972
Iran 1976
Kuwait 1980
Singapore 1984
Qatar 1988
Japan 1992 Withdrew
United Arab Emirates 1996 Did not qualify
Lebanon 2000
China 2004
Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Vietnam 2007 Did not enter
Qatar 2011 Did not qualify
Australia 2015
United Arab Emirates 2019
Total 0/17

AFC Challenge Cup[edit]

Year AFC Challenge Cup record Qualifying record
Result GP W D L GS GA GP W D L GS GA
Bangladesh 2006 Ineligible Ineligible
India 2008 Ineligible Ineligible
Sri Lanka 2010 Did not qualify 3 2 0 1 9 5
Nepal 2012 Group stage 3 1 0 2 2 5 3 2 1 0 6 1
Maldives 2014 Third place 5 1 2 2 7 7 Qualified as hosts
Total 8 2 2 4 9 12 6 4 1 1 15 6

South Asian Football Federation Cup[edit]

SAFF Championship record
Year Result GP W D L GS GA
Sri Lanka 1995 Withdrew
Nepal 1997 Runners-up 4 1 2 1 6 9
India 1999 Third place 4 2 1 1 6 4
Bangladesh 2003 Runners-up 5 3 1 1 11 4
Pakistan 2005 Semi-finals 4 2 1 1 11 2
Maldives Sri Lanka 2008 Champions 5 4 0 1 8 2
Bangladesh 2009 Runners-up 5 3 2 0 11 3
India 2011 Semi-finals 4 1 2 1 5 5
Nepal 2013 Semi-finals 4 2 1 1 18 3
India 2015 Semi-finals 4 2 0 2 9 9
Bangladesh 2018 TBD
Total Best: Champions 39 20 10 9 85 41
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

South Asian Games[edit]

South Asian Games record
Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
Nepal 1984 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bangladesh 1985 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
India 1987 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pakistan 1989 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sri Lanka 1991 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bangladesh 1993 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
India 1995 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nepal 1999 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
2004–present See Maldives national under-23 football team
Total 0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Asian Games[edit]

Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
Asian Games record
Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
India 1951 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Philippines 1954 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 1958 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Indonesia 1962 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1966 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1970 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Iran 1974 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1978 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
India 1982 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Korea 1986 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
China 1990 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 1994 - 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1998 - 2 0 0 2 0 7
2002–present See Maldives national under-23 football team
Total 1/13 2 0 0 2 0 7

Head-to-Head records against other countries[edit]

As of ? .