FIFA Forward project heralds new era

James Kon

With the support of the FIFA Forward project, the investment heralds an important step towards local football development and marks a valuable contribution to the community and Brunei as a whole.

This was stated by FIFA President Gianni Infantino during a pre-recorded message at the groundbreaking ceremony for the FIFA Forward Project 1.0 and 2.0 for the construction of a technical centre and mini grandstand yesterday.

Infantino congratulated the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) and said the association began its journey to a new era with the new projects.

“FIFA was pleased to approve the project in April. It is a privilege to congratulate you all for all the work as it commences. The new football complex will be Brunei Darussalam’s first technical centre offering a range of facilities from medical to technical rooms, to the gymnasium and auditorium. It represents a tremendous improvement for players, coaches and gym instructors as they benefit from this new modern innovation,” he said.

“The new technical centre marks a huge step in the right direction of local football and is aligned with my 2020-2023 vision to make football truly global and accessible to everyone.”

AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John and AFF President Major General Kheiv Sameth also conveyed their congratulations.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin receives a memento from NFABD President Pengiran Haji Metusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan. PHOTO: JAMES KON

Guest of honour, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin officiated the ceremony.

NFABD President Pengiran Haji Metusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan said that during the application processes, FIFA Devco commended the submissions from the association and considered it as one of the convincing projects to be reviewed. NFABD was selected out of 13 countries to be the pilot member association for the FIFA Forward platform. The team is headed by NFABD General Secretary Mohammad Shahnon Haji Mohd Salleh. FIFA activated the first training on June 9.

“The NFABD is grateful to The Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the generous lease of the land through the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports and for the approvals of the building applications from government agencies,” he said.

The NFABD president said the association will strive to play its part to help realise Brunei Vision 2035 in creating opportunities for employment, capacity building for local talents, developing infrastructure and making football an industry in the country.

“NFABD’s success depends on collective effort. It is apparent that all of us have a common goal. That is to develop football in Brunei Darussalam and produce competitive teams in this region. Each of us has our own responsibility in this journey. It is vital for us to work closely together for support. I am positive that the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports and the NFABD will work closer and communicate better,” he said.

The contract for the construction of the new technical centre and grandstand was awarded to WLW Developer and Trading Co Sdn Bhd and is valued at USD2,998,676.74.

The signing ceremony for the construction was held on May 10. The project is expected to be completed on November 9.