Politics should be kept away from sports.
That was the message from Football Association of Maldives (FAM) president Bassam Adeel Jaleel as he signed a cooperation agreement with the Qatar Football Association yesterday in Doha.
 “With regards to the current political issues, I think sports and politics should be separate and that’s what we are always doing in the Maldives. Maldives FA and Qatar FA are brothers and we will have our relationship remain as it is and as always and I hope it continues forever,” Jaleel said at the signing ceremony.
Jaleel was responding to a question on whether political matters should be allowed to interfere with sports.
“The Maldives FA works very closely with Maldives government and we get a lot of assistance from the government to develop the game. Everything that we do in the Maldives FA, the current government knows about it and we also brief them about everything that’s going on,” he added.
“In fact, when our national senior team came here (Qatar), we informed them (the Maldives government) that the team is going for the training camp and they were happy with that as our country believes in separation of politics from football. This is how we plan on keeping political affairs away from football and we will maintain it that way in the future.” 
When asked about Qatar’s preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he said: “I was lucky enough today to visit the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy pavilion to see the latest works and preparations in which I was very impressed. It was a very interesting tour around the pavilion and I congratulate the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy for the work they are doing and I hope that there is going to be a fantastic World Cup here in Qatar in 2022.” 
He added: “When I went to the pavilion to see the work being done here, there are a lot of examples that the Maldives FA can learn from. The scarcity of land is an issue in the Maldives as it is made up of many tiny islands, but there are definitely a few things we can take back from this tour and implement.”
QFA president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani signed the agreement on behalf of the QFA.
The ceremony was attended by Saoud al-Mohannadi, Vice-President of the QFA, Ali Dawood, Executive Director of the QFA President office, Mushtaq al-Waeli, Executive Director of Strategy and Institutional Development of the QFA, and Mohamed Shaweed, FMA Board Member and AFC Executive Committee Member. 
The signing of this agreement is an important milestone for the QFA as it is part of its strategy to develop football in Qatar and strengthen its relationship with its Asian counterparts.
The five-year agreement will contribute to the development of bilateral relations between the two countries, and focus on matters of mutual interest which will aim to enhance the development of football in Qatar and the Maldives.
A meeting was held between the QFA and FAM presidents to endorse the terms of the agreement co-operation between the two FAs.
Jaleel added: “I thank the QFA for always having been brothers to us, and helping us out in football and also in sports in the Maldives. Signing this MoU will help us focus on all areas that need development in football and then I hope that this is a good start for our journey for a better football in the Maldives and Qatar.

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