The 11th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG), scheduled for 2023, will be held in the Maldives, according to the majority of votes cast in the IOIG Council meeting convened Saturday to decide on the event’s next host. This decision is the result of several months of work on the part of our Government to secure this outcome. The announcement to host is particularly special for Maldives given the performance of Maldives’ athletes throughout this year's edition of the IOIG, concluded recently in Mauritius.

The IOIG is an event deeply entwined with the Maldives’ sporting history. We were one of the founding members of the games, which are held every four years and bids the island nations of the Indian Ocean to come together and compete with one another in several sporting fields, in the spirit of friendly competition. The Maldives has participated in every edition of the IOIG since its inception.

Many of our players did exceptionally well in the recently finished IOIG 2019, by winning our country gold in the Women’s Table Tennis doubles and Women’s Badminton Singles events, and also winning silver and bronze in Men’s Singles badminton and in Track and Field. Overall Maldivian athletes participated in 14 different sporting events during this IOIG.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih met with our players on July 14 during his State Visit to Mauritius, to offer them support and encouragement whilst reiterating the high priority that this administration will accord to sport and to raising a new generation of health-conscious and active Maldivians.

Referring to the outcome of this vote, The President expressed his elation at the council’s decision. Further, to assuage voices who might be concerned at the prospective strain on our national budget, the President assured that any infrastructural work done that is necessary to host the next games will occur within the overall framework of our national development plan to serve long-term needs.