19 June 2011

NFABD elects new leaders

Jason Thomas

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah is NFABD's honorary president

Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Mohiddin elected new president of National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam

DATO Paduka Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Mohiddin knows exactly where his priorities as the newly-elected president of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) lie.

The country's governing body for football held an Extraordinary Congress to elect its Executive Committee yesterday, with the former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs admitting he has a big task ahead of him.

He was voted as the president after being the only name on the ballot, and it is understood that he was sworn in after winning two-third of the vote.

Hj Saiful Bahri Pehin Dato Hj Jaya was elected as his deputy under the same circumstances. There were a total of 20 voters.

As is standard practice, both names were nominated before yesterday's election for the 2011-2015 term.

"First and foremost, what is important is housekeeping ... And then we will look at our short-term strategies,'' said the president after the election at the Empire Hotel & Country Club in Jerudong.

"Of course, it's going to be a bumpy and rough road, but it is one we will walk together,'' added Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Rahman.

The Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) has run various national leagues and age-group competitions since Fifa suspended Brunei in September 2009, but now that the Sultanate is back on the international map, the most pressing issue on many fans' minds is finding out which association will take charge of local football tournaments.

The DST Group Brunei League Cup ended on Sunday, but the DST Group Brunei Premier League I and II are only half-way through, with the DST Group Brunei FA Cup also on the horizon.

Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Rahman assured the competing teams that they have nothing to worry about.

"We will hold discussions with the relevant agencies, be it FFBD or any other parties, with the aim of contributing to the advancement of football in Brunei,'' he said.

"We have not talked to FFBD yet but we will.

"It is not as if the leagues never existed, and I am very sure that whatever we do will be agreed upon amicably.

"Which ever organisaiton we deal with, it should be willing to bring Brunei football forward, and we should be guided by this (principle),'' he added.

Four district football association representatives, one referee representative and five members were also elected yesterday all of whom won their seats after claiming more than 50 per cent of the vote.

The district association and referee representative were was a ntecontests between two entries while the voters chose from a total of 11 names to pick the five members, all of whom are local football stakeholders.

Mohd Isa Hj Marsidi was named from the Brunei-Muara District Football Association, Morni Zakaria from the Belait District Amateur Football Federation, Takong Ahmad from the Tutong District Amateur Football Association and Hj Mohd Zain Hj Awang from the Temburong District Amateur Football Association.

Hj Omar Hj Safar was picked to represent the Brunei Darussalam Football Referees Association.

The five members were Ali Hj Ismail (Cousin FC), Ah Chua Bangau (Temburong District Amateur Football Association), Hj Hamidon Hj Mohd Zain (Brunei Darussalam Football Referees Association), Hj Zainol Ariffin Hj Jumaat (DPMM FC) and Jamhari Lani (Belait District Amateur Football Federation).

The Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BNOC) president His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah was instrumental in getting Brunei's suspension lifted by Fifa during their Executive Committee meeting in Zurich last week after being named the head of NFABD's normalisation committee two months ago.

Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Rahman put forth a vote to thank His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah and the rest of the normalisation committee for their hard work by giving them positions as the hononary president and members, an idea which was easily agreed upon.

In his speech at the opening of the election, His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah outlined the importance that the members had to play.

"I hope that the candidates who will be chosen are those who really could shoulder the responsibility with full integrity. I urge all of you to work together and to put aside your differences, selfishness and personal interest as this is the only way to bring NFABD to greater heights, not only in terms of creditability, transparency and integrity but also in terms of excellent planning and effective implementation of its development programmes,'' he stated.

"Even though the challenges faced by NFABD especially in this very early stage are huge, with the dedication and commitment of the members of the Executive Committee and with continued support and guidance from Fifa as well as the support given by all football stakeholders in this country, I am confident that NFABD will grow stronger and will be able to move forward successfully (and) stand tall with other established national football associations in this region.

"I urge you to work together as a team, where every member has to play his role effectively ... However, even if we have a team, if the players do not use his skill intelligently, or is selfish, the team as a whole will be weakened. Worse still if the team's leadership is not up to the job,'' he stressed.

At the end of the election His Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah took the time to explain how Fifa rescinded its suspension on the country.

"In early April the Fifa Emergency Committee decided to appoint a normalisation committee to bring football in Brunei Darussalam back to normal. I was appointed as its chairman and one of the mandates set forth by the Fifa Emergency Committee was for us to conform to Fifa Statutes,'' he said.

"After a few meetings and consultations with Fifa ... the Statute was adopted at the Extraordinary Congress held at the Empire Hotel & Country Club on April 28. A copy of the minutes and NFABD Statute were sent to Fifa on April 30.

"The other mandate set forth by the Fifa Emergency Committee was to get NFABD registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS). Persuant to this and in line with the decision taken by members during the Extraordinary Congress held on April 28, the application, together with the NFABD Statute, was submitted to RoS accordingly.

"As a result, the NFABD was successfully registered by RoS on May 2, of which Fifa was notified immediately.

"From then on it was all good news from Fifa, including the congratulatory messages from Fifa president (Joseph S Blatter) and secretary-general (Jerome Valcke).

"Consequently, we were invited to attend Fifa's 61st Congress in Zurich from May 31-June 1.

"The lifting of the suspension enforced two and a half years ago was considered during Fifa's Executive Committee meeting on May 30, in which the positive decision was announced by the Fifa president during his Press conference later that afternoon.

"As a result, we are now free to participate in all regional and international football tournaments.

"During my courtesy call to Fifa's president on May 31 at Fifa House in Zurich he expressed his happiness that our membership in Fifa is back to normal. Likewise, I expressed the same thing, thanking him and his officers for their advice and guidance until the NFABD was accepted.

"I also informed President Blatter that I, within my limited capacity, will try to make sure that the NFABD will always be in compliance with its Statute, transparent in its action and full of integrity.

"With regards to NFABD's future, I, as honorary president, will always work together with the Executive Committee in making sure that the NFABD will achieve its noble objectives,'' he added. The Brunei Times

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