BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports refused to talk about the issue of the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam's (Bafa) deregistration yesterday.
Despite being asked to answer the question of what was being done to resolve the current ban imposed by Fifa at LegCo, considered by many to be the national's public forum, Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Ahmad Hj Jumat said that talks between "the relevant parties" were ongoing.
He added that the discussions were "sensitive" and "delicate", and did not elaborate further.
The question was posed by Dato Paduka Hj Puasa Orang Kaya Seri Pahlawan Tudin at the seventh day of the current State Legislative Council session.
Dato Paduka Hj Puasa, who described himself as an avid observer and fan of football, said he wanted to know what had been done since the dissolution of Bafa.
He also raised his concern that, considering the Fifa ban, Brunei should be more concerned and more careful with matters related to sports laws and regulations, not only in football, but also in other sports.
"It is enough for me to say that whatever the solution is, it will not go against the law of Brunei Darussalam," said the minister, adding that the situation required a solution that is "acceptable for all".
"The dissolution of Bafa by the Registrar of Societies on November 15, 2008 is due to Bafa's own failure to fulfil the requirements of the law in Brunei," he said.
"Bafa through Article 37 in its own constitution admitted that the Registrar of Societies has the right to dissolve Bafa," he added.
With the dissolution of Bafa, Brunei lost its right to compete in international football fixtures, as they are all sanctioned by Fifa.
"This does not benefit anyone," Pehin Dato Dr Hj Ahmad said. "Due to this, all relevant parties will continue to work towards discussion with the specific parties to reinstate Brunei's membership in Fifa.
"The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, with cooperation from several government agencies, hope that a solution can be achieved with Fifa that will enable Brunei to participate in football tournaments outside the country," he said, adding that the ministry will continue to seek solutions to expand and develop football for Brunei.
Meanwhile, football activities, programmes and tournaments are organised and managed by the Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD), which is not recognised by Fifa.
The FFBD was registered on December 2008, as the new parent body legally sanctioned by the Brunei government to conduct football programmes and championships in Brunei.
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