22 November 2009

Shahrazen needs a rest from football

SHAHRAZEN Hj Md Said has turned down an offer from Indonesia Super League side Persiba Balikpapan.

The DPMM FC striker said he refused since he felt he was not ready for a move and was looking to take some time off football.

"I need a rest. I did not think I was ready since it has just been a month since DPMM FC were told that they cannot play in the Singapore League (S-League)," said Shahrazen when met by The Brunei Times yesterday.

"An agent in Singapore told me Persiba were interested last month. They offered me US$3000 but I am not sure about the other terms of the contract such as accommodation and things like that. In terms of experience and exposure, I am definitely ready for the move .

"I thought it over for a week and then I said no. I don't know if I will regret it or not, that is a question that I cannot answer now," added the 24-year-old who has been courted by Malaysian giants Selangor and Pahang in the past.

He added that DPMM FC goalkeeper Wardun Yussof and midfielder Azwan Salleh were also offered a move to Persiba but both refused.

Shahrazen said he also refused offers from local teams such as Majra FC and his former team, AH United, to play with them.

When quizzed further as to why he has not moved to greener pastures, it seemed that the hitman had other concerns at heart.

"Malaysian teams have approached me when DPMM FC were still in the Malaysian League, but I just didn't want to move because my fans might think of me as a traitor," he said with a smile.

DPMM FC's top scorer in their debut Singapore League (S-League) campaign with nine goals, he won Bruneians' hearts when he finished the 2006/2007 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season as the league's top scorer, tied with Perak's Keita Mandjou on 21 goals.

But Brunei's only professional club are now without a league to call their own after the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) disallowed them to continue playing in the S-League last month.

The reigning Singapore League Cup champions, DPMM FC were left high and dry because of the Fifa's decision to suspend the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) during its Executive Committee meeting on Sept 27, a ruling which meant that all Brunei clubs and teams could no longer play international football.

Many of DPMM FC players are now playing with DSTGroup Brunei Premier League I and II sides - but with the understanding that they will return if the ban is lifted.

"If DPMM FC cannot play again next year, then I might think about moving," said Shahrazen. "It is a shame though since I think we should have been allowed to finish the S-League season. I think it hurt the club's reputation, and for the players, it was a lot of hard work wasted. I hope that the authorities can resolve the matter soon so we can re-join the league next season."

Brunei Times

Brunei join Afghanistan at No 192 in FIFA rankings

BRUNEI and war-torn Afghanistan are now joint 192nd in the latest International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) world rankings released on Friday.

Continuing their slide down the 203-member table, the Sultanate has dropped 14 places from its standing of 178th on October 20.

A total of 104 'A' international matches were played since the October edition of the ranking, taking the number of matches evaluated in the ranking this year to 805.

The British Virgin Islands are also tied on 192nd according to Fifa's website (www.fifa.com).

Brunei's continental ranking (Asian Football Confederation) is 43rd in the field of 46 countries, ahead of Afghanistan, Bhutan and Timor-Leste.

Brunei's worst drop, it is no surprise since they have not played an international match since May when they competed in the qualifying round of the 2009 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in Sri Lanka - where they lost all three of their group stage games.

They do not look like taking to the field in an international fixture any time soon though since they are currently suspended by Fifa and are no longer eligible to compete in international matches.

During its last meeting in September, the Fifa Executive Committee suspended the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) due to what it called 'government interference in its affairs'.

Bafa was deregistered from the Registrar of Societies (Ros) on November 15 last year for failing to submit its activity and financial reports as requested. However, despite providing the relevant documents to get reinstated on December 22, the appeal was rejected.

Brunei's suspension from the world governing body means they are on course to break their previous lowest ranking of 199th in 2004 and 2005.

Steadily moving up the world table since then, their fortunes have suffered over the past years due to poor results and lack of matches.

The sultanate's best ranking remains their standing of 143rd in August 1993, and their average position has been 182nd.

Source : Brunei Times