Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Brunei Town

We need to invest in our football at both club and national level

With the UEFA Euro 2024 and CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 set to take place this month, it is the right time to bring up the topic of football, particularly our football.

Since achieving our independence in 1984, there has been no noticeable progress in terms of our football performance.

Apart from Malaysia Cup 1999 and Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy 2012 victories, our football has been struggling both at club and national level whenever we play in more competitive regional or international games.

These consistently poor results might be due to the lack of domestic football development with focus on the Malaysia League, and later, the Singapore League.

There is a need to develop Brunei’s football, at both club and national level, in order to make our teams more competitive regionally and internationally.

At the club level, we should be moving away from decades-old practice of sending a team to play in the neighbouring football league and start focusing on improving and promoting our own league. This will allow the football association a wider range of players to choose from to represent our country.

Nationally, we should be more active in holding international friendlies against teams not just from Southeast Asia.

Another important factor in bringing our football to great heights is to improve the quality of our players and coaching staff. What we need is to send out batches of players and coaching staff from time to time to established football clubs, such as those in Belgium, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.

Technical staff from the football association should also make trips to footballing countries, particularly in Europe, to better identify the missing infrastructures and training facilities that are holding us back.

Media plays an important role in promoting our football through broadcasting of matches and highlights, and so does marketing and sales of merchandise to the fans.

Changes are inevitable if we want to move forward. To make our football competitive, we need huge investment in terms of money, time and resources. Otherwise, our football will remain stagnant, or worse, fall behind surrounding countries that are working hard to narrow the gap between them and more established football nations.

Purih Brunei

PHOTO: ENVATO
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