| Fadhil Yunus |
THE National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) has sought the cooperation of all respective district football associations to be proactive in getting potential referees to attend relevant courses.
Data and statistics indicate that the majority of referees are based in the Brunei-Muara District and none from Temburong District, the NFABD general secretary, Hj Muhd Zamri bin Dato Paduka Haji Hamdani said during the closing ceremony of the Class 3 referee course at the NFABD House yesterday.
The guest-of-honour also emphasised the safety of referees and that referees are protected by the laws of the game.
Earlier, Head of Referee Department, Awg Tamat bin Budin said that recent statistics from the department showed that there are currently 42 referees from the Brunei-Muara District, 4 from the Belait District, 5 from Tutong District and none from the Temburong District.
The Class 3 referee course or otherwise known as ‘New Recruiting Referees’ is one of the activities under the action plans of the NFABD through the Referee Department whereby it states that there must be at least minimum of four courses for the acceptance of new referees in two years.
Based on the experience of last year though, only two courses were held all in the Brunei-Muara District, explained Awang Tamat.
“The issue on a shortage of referees in the districts should not arise if the important parties take appropriate steps because NFABD alone prepare a set of benefits such as financial allocation to conduct courses, qualified instructors and course equipment contributed by FIFA,” the head of referee added.
The course represents one of the many initiatives set by NFABD to continually help improve the country’s football standards.
There is a range of objectives such as increasing the number of football officials parallel to the ever-increasing standards in the country; scout young potential referees to be the future officials whereby current group officials are in the latter stages of their career as well as developing high quality officials to have better standards in officiating in the country’s football related activities or matches.
This course is designed in such a way that a cohort of these officials can further elevate their level of refereeing to potentially be called upon and gain recognition from FIFA or AFC to officiate regional, national or international matches abroad.
Awg Tamat said that the response and participation of the course is disappointing. Unfortunately, this year recorded the lowest number in terms of participation.
The 12 successful participants that had covered the basic course have been advised that this is only the beginning adding that they should fill in the forms to be a member of the referee association.
He hoped that the referees can brighten the image of the country and NFABD through football specifically in refereeing.
He concluded that before the year 2008, there have been a number of local referees or match officials on duty during major competitions such as World Cup qualifying, Olympic, Asia Cup and Youth World Cup in Kuala Lumpur as assistant referees.
In an interview with the Bulletin, Awang Tamat, a licensed FIFA referee, said that there are various levels within refereeing to be a top referee and therefore necessary standards to referee a World Cup game.
Awang Tamat is an established referee having taken charge of games involving top and emerging Asian nations in both regional and international level. He also recalled refereeing a game in the Merdeka Cup which saw English-based team Sheffield Wednesday in action.