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Maldives national football team

Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Red Snappers
Association Football Association of Maldives (FAM)
Sub-confederation SAFF (South Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach 23x15px Velizar Popov[1]
Captain Ali Ashfaq
Top scorer Ali Ashfaq (41)
Home stadium National Football Stadium
FIFA ranking Template:Nft rank
Highest FIFA ranking 126 (12 July 2006)
Lowest FIFA ranking 183[2] (20 August 1997)
Elo ranking 182 11px
Highest Elo ranking 165 (23 March 2011)
Lowest Elo ranking 209 (13 June 1997)
First international
23x15px Seychelles 9–0 Maldives 23x15px
(Réunion; August 27, 1979)
Biggest win
23x15px Maldives 12–0 Mongolia 23x15px
(Male, Maldives; December 3, 2003)
Biggest defeat
Template:Country data IRN 17–0 Maldives 23x15px
(Damascus, Syria; June 2, 1997)
Best result 2008 SAFF Championship Winners
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]


1997 South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup

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

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

In the 2003 SAFF Gold Cup held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Maldives were drawn in the group B alongside 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 runner-ups. 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 secceeded to convert it from the spot but Ashraf Luthfy failed.

2005 South Asian Football Federation Gold Cup

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 Fazeel, Ali Ashfaq and Ahmed Thoriq scored three goals each.

2008 SAFF Championship Winners

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 2 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 9 goals and conceding 2.[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 least 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

Maldives were drawn with the rivals India in group A, alongside 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 the 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 is the second time Maldives lost the SAFF Championship final in penalties and interestingly, Bangabandhu National Stadium is the venue on both occasions.

2011 SAFF Championship

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

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.

Team image

Media Coverage

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

Home Stadium

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]


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.


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.


Adidas is the kit provider to the national team, a sponsorship deal that began in 2011.




Coaching staff

Manager Vacant
Head Coach 23x15px Velizar Popov
Assistant Coach 23x15px Ismail Mehfooz
Assistant Coach 23x15px Assad Abdul Ghanee
Goalkeeping coach 23x15px Aslam Abdul Raheem
Kitman 23x15px Abdul Sattar
Physiotherapist 23x15px Ahmed Shakeeb

Current squad

The following players were named for friendly match vs 23x15px Tajikistan on 26 March 2015.[20]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Mohamed Faisal 0 23x15px Club Eagles
18 1GK Ibrahim Ifrah Areef 23x15px Club Eagles
22 1GK Imran Mohamed (vice-captain) (1980-12-18) 18 December 1980 (age 39) 56 0 23x15px Maziya
2 2DF Ahmed Numan (1992-01-08) 8 January 1992 (age 28) 0 0 23x15px Club Eagles
3 2DF Mohamed Shifan (1983-03-08) 8 March 1983 (age 37) 15 1 23x15px New Radiant
4 2DF Ahmed Abdulla (1987-03-11) 11 March 1987 (age 33) 1 0 23x15px New Radiant
13 2DF Akram Abdul Ghanee (1987-03-19) 19 March 1987 (age 33) 27 3 23x15px New Radiant
15 2DF Amdhan Ali (1993-09-03) 3 September 1993 (age 26) 0 0 23x15px Maziya
17 2DF Shafiu Ahmed (1988-11-13) 13 November 1988 (age 31) 14 1 23x15px New Radiant
8 2DF Rilwan Waheed (1991-02-14) 14 February 1991 (age 29) 5 0 23x15px New Radiant
2DF Faruhad Ismail 0 23x15px Maziya
2DF Samdhooh Mohamed 0 0 23x15px Maziya
20 3MF Moosa Yaamin 0 23x15px Maziya
6 3MF Mohamed Arif (1985-08-11) 11 August 1985 (age 34) 24 3 23x15px Kanbawza FC
23 3MF Ahmed Niyaz 0 23x15px New Radiant
10 3MF Mohamed Umair (1988-07-03) 3 July 1988 (age 32) 31 3 23x15px Maziya
16 3MF Hussain Niyaz Mohamed (1987-03-19) 19 March 1987 (age 33) 5 0 23x15px Maziya
4FW Ashad Ali (1985-09-14) 14 September 1985 (age 34) 28 2 23x15px New Radiant
4FW Ismail Easa 1 23x15px Club Eagles
4FW Ahmed Nashid (1989-04-09) 9 April 1989 (age 31) 2 0 23x15px Maziya
7 4FW Ali Ashfaq (captain) (1985-09-05) 5 September 1985 (age 34) 101 41 23x15px PDRM FA
9 4FW Asadhulla Abdulla (1990-09-19) 19 September 1990 (age 29) 6 2 23x15px Maziya
21 4FW Hassan Adhuham (1990-01-08) 8 January 1990 (age 30) 13 3 23x15px Club Eagles
4FW Ahmed Imaz (1992-04-12) 12 April 1992 (age 28) 3 0 23x15px Maziya


Latest Results

      Win       Draw       Loss

Competitive record

World Cup record

Asian Cup record

AFC Challenge Cup

Year AFC Challenge Cup record Qualifying record
23x15px 2006 Ineligible Ineligible
Template:Country data IND 2008 Ineligible Ineligible
23x15px 2010 Did not qualify 3 2 0 1 9 5
File:Flag of Nepal.svg 2012 Group stage 3 1 0 2 2 5 3 2 1 0 6 1
23x15px 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 Record

SAFF Championship
Year Round GP W D* L GS GA
23x15px 1995 Withdrew
File:Flag of Nepal.svg 1997 Runners-up 4 1 2 1 6 9
Template:Country data India 1999 Third place 4 2 1 1 6 4
23x15px 2003 Runners-up 5 3 1 1 11 4
23x15px 2005 Semi-finals 4 2 1 1 11 2
23x15px 23x15px 2008 Champions 5 4 0 1 8 2
23x15px 2009 Runners-up 5 3 2 0 11 3
Template:Country data India 2011 Semi-finals 4 1 2 1 5 5
File:Flag of Nepal.svg 2013 Semi-finals 4 2 1 1 18 3
Total 1 title 35 18 10 7 76 32
*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.
****2008 SAFF Championship final was played in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Maldives 3 - 0 Pakistan: Dream Start". maldivesoccer. 3 June 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Maldives 4 - 1 Nepal: Host cruise to the semi final". maldivesoccer. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Maldives 0 - 1 India: Unlucky hosts". maldivesoccer. 7 June 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Sri Lanka 0-1 Maldives: Fazeel's wonder goal". maldivesoccer. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "India 0-1 Maldives: New champions". maldivesoccer. 14 June 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Hosts avoid India". The Daily Star. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Maldives 2 - 0 India: Champions through". maldivesoccer. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Maldives 5 - 1 Sri Lanka: Maldives enters final". maldivesoccer. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Maldives 0 - 0 India: India wins on penalties". maldivesoccer. 13 December 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "Maldives 10-0 Sri Lanka: Ashfaq hits six". maldivesoccer. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "Record breaker". maldivesoccer. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "SAFF C'ship: Maldives 8 – 2 Bhutan". maldivesoccer. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "SAFF C'ship: Afghanistan 0 – 0 Maldives". maldivesoccer. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "SAFF C'ship: India 1 – 0 Maldives". maldivesoccer. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "Afghan lifts SAFF Championship". maldivesoccer. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "Rasmee Dhandu Stadium". worldstadiums. Retrieved 2009. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Mohamed Sajid (29 May 2014). "Maldives wins third place". Maldives Soccer. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 

External links