With the World Cup now underway, UCFB student Aleem Bolkiah has been busy in Moscow working as a FIFA delegate with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The BA (Hons) International Football Business student has been tasked with attending all FIFA Congress meetings and conferences on behalf of Brunei, and was present to see the US, Mexico and Canada awarded the 2026 World Cup ahead of Morocco.

During his time in Russia so far, Aleem met with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the AFC Members Gathering and was in attendance for the opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Aleem with FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

Speaking about his experience so far and the 2026 World Cup bid, Aleem said: “I like Morocco’s concept better but I believe because of the larger profit everyone preferred the United bid. I was right in front of the Canada contingent so all I heard was them!”

He added: “As part of the Brunei delegation, I’ve been tasked to attend all conferences, congresses and meetings related to AFC and FIFA. The first thing was an AFC meeting attended by Infantino.

“Then we had a welcome dinner hosted by the President where we were treated to a showcase of cultures from all the cities hosting the World Cup. There was also a football tournament for delegation members which was attended by ex-professionals such as Luis Figo, Clarence Seedorf and Michel Salgado”