It should be noted that never in Gayoom's three decades has the Maldives football team clinched a championship, despite disproportionate spending by his government in a region dominated by cricket.
Maldivian football players showed their gratitude at the start of the championship by presenting Gayoom with a red football shirt emblazoned "Maumoon Number 1". This extraordinary endorsement of the dictator is, by default, an endorsement of his government's appalling human rights record and disregard to justice.
There are those who argue that sport is above politics. But this argument doesn't really apply to a country in which the government controls everything to do with sports, from who gets invited to sit on the stage in the national stadium to the hairlength of footballers.
When a TV Maldives announcer a few years ago expressed support for Gayoom, in a public broadcast, the public was quick to label her "Golha Waleed".
But when national football players endorsed the dictator, nobody called them "Golha Team".
Maldivians, by supporting the national football team, are turning their backs on the cold-blooded murder of Hassan Eevan Naseem and other inmates in Maafushi jail in 2003 by the dictator's police.
As I write this post, Gayoom is likely to be wearing his football shirt and watching Maldives play mighty India, hoping for a chance to call himself the "father of football".
If he succeeds, most Maldivians will have no right to make fun of him.