Football is not only a recreational activity but also as an opportunity towards a better life in the future, National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan said yesterday.
He made these comments as the guest of honour at the McDonald sponsored jersey presentation ceremony for Dato Mohd Yassin Primary School football team.
The event was held at the school’s multipurpose hall.
Pengiran Haji Matusin said, “I am not a fan of the Liverpool Football Club but I am an admirer. It is not a team that can be easily defeated because it is deep rooted. The team can survive a typhoon or flood.
“We in Brunei Darussalam should learn to become a mini Liverpool. It is not impossible but it takes a lot of effort and hard work. There is collaboration between the NFABD and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Ministry of Education (MoE) and the private sector.”
He said beside football being a recreational activity, “We must look into the future and focus on football as an industry where there will be opportunities for locals to venture into the professional football.
“Parents should think more than just pen and paper in school. There are opportunities for the children to be professionals and maybe even venture into well-known football clubs.
“Besides playing football as recreational activity, it is also good to join a football programme. Think of it as not just a game, it gives you opportunity to make your life better. NFABD and stakeholders can provide guidance and encouragement for child to develop into good footballers,” said Pengiran Haji Matusin.
The NFABD President stressed that Brunei needs quality players. NFABD is preparing a national team that can represent the country in tournaments under FIFA, AFC and others. There are preparations for the HBT tournament expected to take place in 2022.
“We are giving children the right footing for the future and this is one of the strategic plans of NFABD. NFABD has a long-term 2020-2035 programme to develop a national squad that can compete in the region as well as in Asia.
“To all stakeholders, we have a big responsibility and I hope that more from the private sector would approach us to work together. A good national team cannot be built in one or two weeks. It takes effort and time. It is a big responsibility and it is up to all of us to realise the dream.”
Makan Ceria Sdn Bhd Operations Consultant Mohammad Dini Hj Morsidi handed over the sponsored jersey to football team.
Dato Mohd Yassin Primary School principal Haji Mat Dani bin Haji Abu Bakar received a jersey from Pengiran Haji Matusin.
NFABD Grassroots Development Head Haji Rozaimienizam bin Haji Jainal gave a briefing about Football for School initiative. “We initiated this Football for School programme earlier this year. We came to this school last year and in a discussion with the principal, we agreed to make the school a pilot school for the programme.
“The school managed to build a football team from the ground up. The team was supposed to train daily to compete in the inter-school competition but the team only trained once and COVID-19 outbreak happened. So the programme was paused until now. We want to continue this programme and expand to other schools in Brunei,” said Haji Rozaimienizam.
NFABD Grassroots Development Head said grassroot football is about mass participation and the football association is organising more events. Children can learn teamwork and build leadership skills as well as building interest in the sport.