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Maldives defeats Bangladesh in the Ooredoo SAFF Championship 2021!

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza

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Photo: Image MV

Maldives has won its first and most significant match against Bangladesh in the “Ooredoo SAFF Championship 2021,” the south asian region’s premier football tournament. Maldives defeated Bangladesh 2 – 0 in a game played at the National Football Stadium on Thursday night.

The Bangladeshi players put forth a strong showing early in the first half, with Maldives goalkeeper Mohamed Faisal rejecting forward Biplo Ahmed’s effort to score. After player Assad Ali was injured 27 minutes into the game, the Maldives team made the first change. Hussain Nihan had a great chance to score in the first half, but he failed to find the back of the net. In added time to the first half, football star Ali Ashfaq attempted a penalty kick, but Bangladesh goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico blocked it. Hamza Mohamed scored 10 minutes into the second half of the match to give Maldives the lead. The goalkeeper for the Bangladeshi squad was caught off guard as Ashfaq scored an easy second goal on a penalty shot, boosting the team’s hopes at the table. The goal was scored in the 73rd minute.

Maldives climbed up to third place on the rankings with this significant win, having collected three points in two matches. Nepal is currently in first place on the standings, having won both of its matches and amassing a total of six points. With four points, Bangladesh is in second place. With two points, India is now in fourth place, while Sri Lanka is at the bottom of the table with one point.

On October 10, Maldives will face Sri Lanka, followed by a match against India on October 13.

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MPS still under Home Minister: PO

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President’s Office on Tuesday stated that though Maldives Police Service (MPS) is now operating as an independent entity, the Home Minister is still the responsible figure for the agency.

Following the ratification and implementing of MPS Act, MPS would function as an independent entity, with various internal governing bodies. The Home Minister will be responsible for overseeing the body but will have no control over day to day operations.

Confusion reigned supreme following a letter sent by President’s Office to the Home Affairs, stating that MPS would function as an independent entity effective from March 27, 2021. The letter also stated the Ministry’s functions and roles following this decision.

Clause 242 of the Constitution mandates that all government and government associated agencies be overseen by a Minister.

The statement issued by President’s Office said that Home Minister Sheikh Imran would still oversee the agency.

In response to the change, Minister Imran tweeted that ‘challenges’ were natural and expected. He added that success was in perseverance.

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Tourism Ministry sets three-year period for resorts to open

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Minister of Tourism Dr Abdullah Mausoom has revealed that the Ministry intends to automatically revoke the islands leased for resort development, if the developers fail to open the property within a three-year period.

Speaking to local newspaper, Mihaaru, the Minister revealed that this was already in the plans and a new agreement will be signed based on this principle.

Statistics by Tourism Ministry in 2020, show that over 50 resorts were still under development, with parties filing to extend the permits for 21 islands. Some of the leased islands have been listed as under development for over 10 years.

This, he said, was being implemented to urge developers to finish developing the property and begin operations. Minister Mausoom noted that most citizens living close to islands under development had raised their concerns over delays.

The Minister had previously said that Tourism sustained severe losses due to the pandemic. While the sector aims to bring in 1.3 million tourists, there are several challenges including a new mutation of the delta strain detected in the UK and limitations of the airport to cater for arrivals.

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U23 national team departs for Bahrain

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The under 23 national football team has departed to Bahrain for training ahead of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

The qualifiers will be held in Uzbekistan from the 27th to the 31st of this month.

The team is accompanied by Assistant Coaches Sabah Mohamed and Mohamed Shahid. They will play two practice matches in Bahrain before heading to straight to qualifiers in Uzbekistan. The team had also carried out successful training camps in the atolls.

Maldives will face off against Iraq on 27th October, against Bahrain on 29th October, and Afghanistan on 31st October.

Competing nations are divided into 11 groups. First place winners will go into the Asian Cup. Additionally, four top-performing teams from the second placed nations will proceed to the Cup.

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