BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Construction has begun for the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam’s (NFABD) first technical centre with facilities for football training and matches.

Fully funded by the FIFA Forward Development Programme, the US$2.9 million (BND$3.9 million) technical centre is expected to provide more opportunities for youth to improve their footballing skills.

During the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, Permanent Secretary of Culture, Youth and Sports Pg Mohammad Amirrizal Pg Hj Mahmud said the technical centre will breathe new life into football development.

“We know football is a very popular sport in Brunei and it will give us the opportunity to bring back our glory days. What is important is the support from all agencies and stakeholders,” he said.

The technical centre, located next to NFABD’s office on Jalan Pusat Persidangan, will be equipped with a mini gymnasium, medical centre, research room and auditorium. A mini grandstand will also be built alongside the artificial field. 

WLW Developer & Trading Co was appointed as the contractor to carry out the construction, which is expected to be completed in December.

NFABD president Pg Hj Matusin drops cement into a hole during the ground-breaking for a new FIFA-funded technical centre, while MCYS minister Dato Hj Aminuddin looks on behind him. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

NFABD president Pg Hj Matusin Pg Hj Matasan said Brunei was one of 13 countries selected to be a pilot member of the FIFA Forward programme.

“FIFA Development Office has commended the submission from NFABD and considered it as one of the convincing projects,” he said.

The FIFA Forward programme, which was launched in 2016, offers financial support to football associations and helps implement tailor-made development projects to provide football infrastructure and competitions.

The FIFA Development Committee approved NFABD’s request to build a technical centre and mini grandstand in April, after the football association submitted an application last year.

Pg Hj Matusin said the success of NFABD depends on the collective efforts of football clubs and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

“All of us have a common goal, a shared purpose, that is to develop football in Brunei Darussalam to produce competitive teams in this region. That is why it is vital for us to work closely together for support.”