The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) launched their Futsal Referee Basic Course yesterday.
The course is set to provide 34 participants the knowledge, rules and regulation they need to officiate and referee futsal matches and it is being held in line with the association's two-year action plan for football development in the Sultanate
Ultimately, the programme hopes to generate the manpower needed to run NFABD's futsal tournaments in the future, namely the 2014 Futsal League which will be held next year.
The participants are made up of personnel from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Royal Brunei Police Forces, local football club players and individuals.
Present to officiate the launching of the course at the NFABD House along Jalan Pusat Persidangan in Berakas yesterday was NFABD General Secretary Mohd Noor Hj Abdullah.
Speaking during yesterday's event, chairman of NFABD's referees committee, Hj Hamidon Hj Mohd Zain, outlined the importance of having certified and knowledgeable referees in the country.
"So far we only have seven certified futsal referees in the country, with only three of the seven FIFA standard referees," said Hj Hamidon.
"When futsal was first introduced in Brunei in 2000, there were no futsal referees in Brunei. Then two years later in 2002, the first futsal referee courses was held and there were 20 participants involved in the course."
"But now, there are only seven referees that are still active in organising and refereeing futsal matches in the country, and we need more of them.
"So with this course, I am hoping that we will be able to produce more officials and referees to assist us in organising and officiating regional and even international futsal tournament in the future," he added.
The course, which includes fitness tests and written exams, will run over Fridays and Saturdays until December 1 at three locations; the NFABD House, Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex and the Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
"All the participants who completed the course will need to complete one year of officiating futsal tournaments in the country before being awarded the futsal referee certificate," Hj Hamidon said.
"So I am hoping that all participants who are present today will stay committed even after the course," added Hj Hamidon.
NFABD hosted Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president His Highness Shaikh Salman Ebrahim Al Khalifa on Friday for a two-day visit, the head of the regional football body promising to help Brunei in terms of providing technical and administrative support such as organising coaching courses, providing referees and match commissioners.