The Brunei Darussalam Football Referees Association (PPBNBD) hopes to produce more referees in the coming years.
Twenty-five candidates started a five-day Brunei-Muara District Football Association (PBDBM) Level Three Football Referee course yesterday, and once completing the course, their qualifications will be recognised by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD).
Brunei has three FIFA referees and five FIFA assistant referees to date.
On the local scene, though, the Sultanate only has 20 referees overseeing an increasing number of tournaments - which is why the course is so timely.
"We are holding this Level Three course since there is a lack of referees," said Zulkifli Hj Duraman, who is conducting the course with Tamat Hj Budin and Mohd Yusof Zaki Hj Serudin.
"I'm glad that we received this many participants.
"There are only around 20 referees right now that are active. So it is stressful.
"There are so many leagues going on now in Brunei. We have the DST Super League, DST Premier League and the Veteran Football Association League.
"Hopefully all of them will be committed to be good referees, which will be a good sign for PBDBM because then we will have enough to cater to our leagues in Brunei," added Zulkifli after the opening ceremony at the NFABD House.
Zulkifli also hopes to see more internationally recognised referees emerge from the course, where the participants range from 20-35 year olds.
"If they have potential, especially the younger ones, they will be submitted to take the FIFA refereeing course," said Zulkifli.
One of them might be ex-Muara Vella player Amdillah Zainuddin, who told The Brunei Times he is sitting for the course because he hopes to one day further his refereeing career overseas.
"I'm doing this to gain the experience and hopefully I will end up being a referee," said Amdillah.
"Aside from local tournaments, I also hope to referee international ones if I can get approved as a FIFA referee," added Amdillah.
PBDBM set up the course with the cooperation of the Brunei Darussalam Football Referees Association (PPBNBD) and the Brunei-Muara District Football Association (BMDFA).
They will put all their students through both theory and practical sessions, where they will learn and apply the 17 laws of refereeing over the next few Fridays and Sundays - with the course set to end on Feb 7 with a theory exam.
Abd Halim Hj Metussin, who heads NFABD's Referee's Committee as well as the Ethics and Fair Play Committee, officiated the course's opening ceremony at the NFABD House in Berakas.