Football associations band together to overcome pandemic challenges

Fadhil Yunus

The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) has learnt the best practices around the region and how to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, said General Secretary of NFABD Haji Mohammad Shahnon bin Haji Mohd Salleh.

He made this statement during the Digital Learning Series online workshop jointly organised by the Qatar Football Association (QFA) and the Asean Football Federation (AFF) recently.

“There are few things that we have learnt especially with the current structure of our member association as a small member association. We should expect the unexpected and never underestimate the medical, safety, and security aspects in football matters.”

NFABD President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan and senior officers from the NFABD also attended the online workshop. The first workshop, centred on safely returning to play and building revenues, analysed the impact of the unprecedented decline in 2020 revenues due to the pandemic and potential ways to emerge from the ongoing crisis.

The second day of the workshop, centred on returning to train and playing, focussed on concrete policy and procedures to go back to the pitch.

Head of Content of Leaders in Sport David Cushnan moderated the course. The programme also featured Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa at Octagon Aykan Azzar and Director of Global Partnerships and Head of International Office at AS Roma Alexander Scotcher.

According to the AFF, the presentations and discussions highlighted examples of creative ways to develop alternative revenue streams as a contingency solution in the aftermath of the pandemic and also as future risk management tools.

Participants also reflected the evolving behaviour of the fans as a consequence of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, Head of Competitions from the Philippine Football Federation and Tournament Commissioner of the Philippine Football League Mikhail Torre said, “We are very thankful with the content of the seminar especially on competitions.”

With the Philippines’ domestic season set to kick off starting October 25 until November 6, he said, “It is timely for us to absorb information on the proven measures that have been adapted in the UEFA Champions League and AFC Champions League.”

Representatives from other member associations affiliated with the AFF including the Philippines, Indonesia and Laos also participated.