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Sunday, December 3, 2023
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Football association at risk of FIFA ban

The drama of uncertainty within the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam continued as the country’s football governing body, the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) is at risk of being suspended by FIFA, the football world governing body and Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

This is following the suspension of its President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan from his duties and the sacking of FABD general secretary Mohammad Shahnon bin Mohd Salleh on Wednesday which may deemed as interference.

In a press conference yesterday at FABD house, Pengiran Haji Matusin said, “The Registrar of Societies (RoS) has taken action that has caused myself and the Secretary General to not be involved in any affairs of football in the country.”

As a national governing body that is a member of FIFA and AFC, he explained, “We have our own mandate in managing the association without interference from other parties.

“Therefore when the Secretary General and I received the letter from the Registrar of Societies that we have been released from our posts in the association, it is the right of the FABD to report to FIFA and AFC. FIFA and AFC contacted RoS stating that such action cannot be accepted by the FIFA and AFC.”

Football Association Brunei Darussalam President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan. PHOTO: JAMES KON

At the same time, he added, “We were supposed to have our congress and election. FIFA, AFC and ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) representatives were ready to come to Brunei to attend the congress. The names of those arriving were received and arrangements were made. However FIFA and AFC advised the congress be postponed.”

He shared the letter sent to the FABD by the FIFA and AFC in a joint communique.

The letter was sent through email to the General Secretary.

Pengiran Haji Matusin read out the letter stating the RoS gave an order to dismiss the FABD president without apparently providing any reason or notice.

In light of the seriousness of this matter and due to the impact of the electoral process, FIFA and AFC are of the opinion that the FABD elective congress to take place on November 18, 2023 should immediately be postponed until further notice.

As mentioned in our letter on November 9 2023, we refer you to FIFA and AFC statutory principles and requirements to which FABD should manage its own affairs independently from any undue interference or any third parties influence with reference to article 14.1 and 19.1 of FIFA statutes and 10.1 and 15.4 of AFC statutes.

In this context, he read, “We kindly request FABD to communicate this letter to the authority requesting that they provide FIFA and AFC before November 21, 2023 with valid justification of the dismissal of president and the General Secretary of FABD.

“If no valid justification is provided to FIFA and AFC prior to the deadline, we will have no other alternative but to view the alleged dismissal as an attempt of undue third party interference and violation of the above articles.

“In case of such violations FABD may have to be suspended in accordance with article 16 of the FIFA statutes resulting in FABD losing all it’s membership rights as defined in article 13 of FIFA statutes. According to article 16.3 of FIFA statutes, the suspended member association may not exercise any of its membership rights and other member associations may not entertain sporting contact with the suspended member association.

The disciplinary committee may impose further sanction.

“The representative team and affiliated club of the federation can no longer take part in international competitions until the suspension is lifted.”

He stated; “If suspended, we will lose everything and will not be able to compete in the S League. This is the immediate repercussions.”

Since the deadline to reply to FIFA falls today, Pengiran Matusin requested an extension of additional three days for RoS to reply to the FIFA letter.

He also shared he will consider not contesting as president in the upcoming congress since there is no support for him from the committee. – James Kon


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