NFABD joins 70th FIFA Congress

Fadhil Yunus

The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) led by its President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan attended the 70th FIFA Congress via video conference recently.

The virtual event marked the first time that it was convened remotely since its inception in 1904, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accompanying the president were General Secretary of NFABD Mohd Shahnon bin Haji Mohd Salleh and Deputy General Secretary Siti Zuraina binti Abdullah.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in his opening address, “We are meeting today in quite exceptional circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic has meant that rather more than 211 member associations of FIFA being together in one room, we are all staying much closer to home.

“Although we are divided geographically, we remain united in our purpose to ensure that life goes on and that football goes on.”

NFABD President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan during the video conference. PHOTO: NFABD

The world’s football governing body president also touched on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted football worldwide.

“A small tiny virus has shown us how fragile we are but also how interconnected we are and how global the world has become because the world stood still, so as the world of football stood still.”

He added, “This virus has shown us as well that health is the most important thing we have. Health comes first even before football.”

On assisting the crisis-ridden football, Infantino said a plan has been put in place. “We have designed a robust relief programme with accountability and good governance.”

Meanwhile, Pengiran Haji Matusin said, “It was unfortunate that the outbreak has to happen within the first year of my tenure as the president, but there is always a silver lining.

“Similar to FIFA, we want to make Brunei Darussalam’s football to remain clean and healthy, with an addition that it is also easily in-tune with current developments and inducive to growth.

“NFABD is currently considering a re-branding – to give it a stronger and more vibrant purpose in serving Brunei Darussalam’s football. Insya Allah, we will be making significant changes for the Sultanate soon.”

The 70th FIFA Congress was originally scheduled to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June 2020.