It has been a busy and exciting year for the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD).
The association recorded a number of milestones this year, with the most recent being the launch of its official website on July 17 at the Conference Room of the NFABD House in Berakas. www.nfabd.org was launched to help the public stay connected not only with the association but also football in the Sultanate.
It is hoped to aid interested parties in keeping up to date with all the latest football news and development in the country while also promoting activities and courses that will be conducted by the NFABD. NFABD General Secretary Hj Mohd Zamri Dato Paduka Hj Hamdani said that all activities pertaining to the association and anything related to football - including news on FIFA, AFC, AFF and even local club DPMM FC - can be found on the website.
Visitors can access reports and photos on local competitions as well as schedules and various publications by the association on the site. NFABD President His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah officiated at the launching ceremony.
YAM Pg Muda 'Abdul 'Aleem and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah were also present at the event. His Royal Highness, in his remarks on the NFABD website, revealed that construction of the association's own football field - under the FIFA Goal Project 2 - will start later this year.
The NFABD also signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Sport Partnership Pte Ltd in July. Sport Partnership is the Singapore and Brunei licensee and distributor of Italian sportswear manufacturer Lotto, and it is set to provide NFABD with attire and equipment for national and junior team players and officials not exceeding $50,000 per year.
"This is good news for the players and they were happy when they heard about it," said national coach Kwon Oh-son. "Lotto is a well known brand and the quality of their equipment is very good. I am very grateful for the support," said the South Korean.
Under the agreement, Sport Partnership will, at its own cost, provide NFABD with negative photographic prints or camera-ready artwork of the company's logo, and information about the correct use of the logo, in respect to the display of the company's logo in accordance to their rights.
The company also agreed to sell to NFABD other products bearing the Lotto trademark at a 50 per cent discount. Meanwhile, NFABD agreed to purchase from the company products bearing the Lotto trademark at a minimum amount of $15,000 per year, and they agreed not to engage in anything that is prejudicial to the image of the company.
NFABD will also notify the company of the dates and time of matches to be held in the football season, and they also need to inform the company of any rules and regulations imposed by authorities that could affect the grant of sponsorship rights.
Signing on behalf of NFABD was its Vice-President Pehin Datu Indera Sugara Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof Abu Bakar, while representing Sport Partnership Pte Ltd was its General Manager, Johar Jasman.
"I would like to note that this sponsorship is well-timed as the apparel will be worn by our national team for the HBT tournament next month," said Pehin Datu Indera Sugara Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof. "I also hope that today will mark the beginning of what we hope will be long-term cooperation and commitment between the company and NFABD," he said.
The association, in May, played host to a five-day course for newly registered FIFA referees and FIFA assistant referees. Thirty-one newly registered FIFA referees and assistant referees from Brunei, Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the course organised by world football governing body FIFA with the help of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) and NFABD.
Throughout the course, the participants were taught a number of topics on refereeing, among them serious foul play and violent conduct, management of penalties and free-kicks, offside, advantage, handball, simulation and celebration of goals.
"On behalf of the NFABD, I would like to express our gratitude to FIFA for selecting NFABD to conduct this important course for FIFA, and this is the first time Brunei has been given the privilege," said NFABD Deputy President Pehin Datu Indera Sugara Brigadier General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof during the course.
"I hope that all of the participants have gained knowledge and experience from this course so that they can make full use of it in their duties as referees and assistant referees in their respective countries and also when being called by FIFA to officiate international matches," he said.