26 March 2010

Brunei dominate AFC Executive Committee meeting

Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Executive Committee met on Friday here at AFC House with the members discussing efforts to avert FIFA’s threatened expulsion of the Brunei Football Association (BAFA), and the amendment of AFC’s statutes in June’s AFC Extraordinary Congress in South Africa.

FIFA recently warned that BAFA, which is currently under suspension, could be expelled altogether from the world body because it was de-registered by the government in 2008 and replaced with another association.

FIFA wants BAFA to be re-registered by the June FIFA Congress in South Africa.

Member Junji Ogura, of Japan, appealed to the AFC Executive Committee to help Brunei, saying: “It would be a pity for Asia if one of our members is expelled from football. It would be the first time for Asia. We have another two months (to avert it).”

AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam said AFC had met many times with key Brunei officials in an effort to resolve the issue - but without success.

After much discussion among members, it was agreed that AFC would make another attempt to convince the Brunei authorities to comply with FIFA’s demands.

AFC Vice-President Manilal Fernando suggested appealing to FIFA to delay any decision on Brunei until AFC has exhausted all avenues to reinstate BAFA.

The afc.com

25 March 2010

Rangers out-muscled in first round tie

THE large crowd that turned up at the Balapan Track and Field for Viva Rangers FC were left disappointed last night when P Lun Bawang triumphed 4-2 to advance into the second round of the FA Cup.

Idris Lupat scored a brace and teammates Christopher Ambon and Zaimi Awat added to the tally to set up a date with DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I)-side Jerudong FC on Sunday.

Md Faqih Hj Md Suni scored the opener for Viva Rangers FC while Md Shahrazen Said converted from the penalty spot in the 60th minute.

More : Brunei Times

24 March 2010

5-star Muara Vella close BAB account

MUARA VELLA FC deposited five goals into Brunei Association of Banks (BAB) net last night to advance into the second round of the DST Group Brunei FA Cup.

Abdul Azim Zainal scored a hat-trick while Rosmi Merali and Ak Md Ridha Pg Hj Matassan added to the tally with a goal each, setting up Muara Vella FC with a date with LLRC FT on Monday.

Brunei Times

21 March 2010

Minister refuses to comment on Bafa issue

Rasidah HAB

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.

The Brunei Times

Fifa warns of football banishment by June

Jason Thomas and Amir Amin

IN 1976, South Africa was the pariah of international sports because of its apartheid policies.

One of the final rubber stamps of disapproval coming from world football governing body, the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) that year, when they became the first country to be expelled from the association.

But changes were made, and come this June, the once-outcasts of global football will be hosting one of the biggest sporting events on the planet, 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Also come this June, Brunei may be the second country to face the same risk of becoming lost in the football wilderness that befell South Africa 34 years ago, though the circumstances surrounding the Sultanate's possible banishment are far less serious.

In what might be the final twist of the knife in a drama which first began two years ago, Fifa on Friday announced that Brunei may be the first expulsion from the body since South Africa for 'political interference.'

Fifa warned that unless the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) came to Fifa's Congress on June 9 and 10 in the southern most African nation without meeting its conditions for reinstatement, it would be expelled.

The only governing body for football in the country recognised by Fifa, Bafa was deregistered from the Registrar of Societies (RoS) on 15 Nov 2008 for failing to submit its activity and financial reports.

Bafa provided RoS the relevant documents to get reinstated on Dec 22, but the appeal was rejected.

It has been downhill ever since, with Fifa suspending Bafa on Sept 30 last year.

The Sultanate's involvement in the international arena came to a grinding halt, culminating in Brunei's only professional club, DPMM FC, being banned from playing in the Singapore League days later.

Fifa have repeatedly stressed that the only way Brunei can play international football is if Bafa is re-reinstated, with Fifa's Director of member associations Thierry Regenass making at least three trips to the country to resolve the matter last year.

Top on the list of his priorities was appointing an interim committee until Bafa got reinstated, but nothing came of it, even after meeting officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

"Brunei have not agreed to the road map Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation have proposed to them in order to reinstall the federation and to come back as a member of Fifa," said Fifa president Sepp Blatter when he announced the threat of Bafa's expulsion on Friday.

Calls to both FIFA's Director of member associations Thierry Regenass and AFC General Secretary Alex Soosay were not answered by press time.

With football so ingrained in Bruneian culture, it is no surprise that some football fans are disillusioned with the events that transpired up until now.

"Brunei just needs to grow up," said Amin Samid yesterday.

"I don't really know what the deal is between Fifa, FFBD (new ruling body Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam) and Bafa, but I do know that Brunei needs a change in attitude when it comes to sports," he added.

"They should just follow what Fifa wants as they are the world governing body of football," insisted Irwan Mohammad.

"I don't know why they don't want to comply with Fifa. Maybe I'm not the only one that doesn't as there are also others who don't exactly know what happened.

"Why aren't the relevant authorities doing something about it?," asked the teacher.

As it is, Brunei is not allowed to compete in any international games and is not eligible for funding from Fifa to run football in the country and to develop the sport.

In addition, Brunei will not be able host any Fifa courses and will not be able to attend any conferences, making it hard for the country to keep abreast of development in the international arena.

Also, any player, coach or agent who wants a relationship with the rest of the global football community will not come to Brunei because they risk being alienated by their home countries or associations.

"My honest answer? I think it is a total embarrassment, not only for the football fraternity in Brunei but the whole sports fraternity in Brunei," said a Malaysian football fanatic.

"This is all a lacklustre display by the officials mandated to carry out their responsibly, and who unfortunately, didn't carry them out. "A series of human technical errors has resulted in the disruption of football in Brunei," he said in conclusion.

His view was shared by a manager of a local football club, who was aware why Fifa won't budge unless its demands are met.

"The people here have to understand why Fifa won't compromise," he said.

"We are dealing with an association that has more members than the United Nations. They cannot make an exception for Brunei.

"Every Tom, Dick and Harry will start forming their own associations or federations, and how can Fifa run like that?

"International organisations like these will not back down to any political pressure. They can't afford to, if not they cannot function," he added.

In the end, Qamaruzzaman Hj Affandy said it the best.

"The ban will be detrimental to the future of Brunei's football. How can we grow without exposure?" said the student.

The Brunei Times

20 March 2010

Football: FIFA may expel Brunei, says Blatter

ZURICH: FIFA President Sepp Blatter warned on Friday that Brunei was in danger of being expelled from world football in a dispute over alleged government interference in the sport.

"The federation of Brunei have not agreed to a roadmap FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation have proposed," Blatter told journalists after a meeting of the world governing body's executive committee.

He warned that unless they came to FIFA's congress on June 9 and 10 in South Africa having met the conditions for reinstatement "it will be the second time.. that FIFA had to expel a federation."

The Football Association of Brunei (BAFA) was suspended from international football in September 2009.

The other expulsion in recent history was South Africa, which was thrown out in 1976 under the former apartheid regime. - AFP/de

Channel News Asia

FA Cup second round lots drawn; QAF FC-Wijaya FC showdown looms

AFTER a brief respite, QAF FC will lace up their boots for round two of the DST Group Brunei FA Cup against last year's finalist Wijaya FC.

The cup is the only piece of silverware that has eluded the reining DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) champions. But their first up mission won't be a walk over against an opponent which brings its own pedigree to the event.

The two teams became locked in their cup struggle when the draw was held at the function room of the Aneka Rasa Restaurant in Kiulap.

The three-time BPL I champions were the first pick of the draw and will kick start the second round of the FA Cup next week on Friday, Mar 26th.

Wijaya FC were pipped to the crown 1-0 last year by the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB).

The reigning FA Cup champions were handed the easiest draw of the lot yesterday, booked against Brunei Shell FT for Wednesday, Mar 31.

The armymen ended the BPL I season on a high, breaking QAF FC's 17-game undefeated streak in their final match with a 3-1 win.

Brunei Shell FT were also able to pull off a 2-1 win against Majra FC for their season-ender, yet it was only their second win of the season.

Third place AM Gunners FC will collide once more with AH United, a rematch for the respective clubs season ender.

AH United will hope to avoid the same result as last time when they were on the receiving end of a 6-0 pummeling at the Balapan Track and Field in Berakas on Feb 28.

Another interesting match-up features the first two teams that made it into the second round.

Having survived the first round blasting by 10-man Menglait FC 7-5 on Tuesday, Perkasa FC's next match will be against DST Group Brunei Premier League II (BPL II) rivals Kilanas FC.

Kilanas FC are hoping to record a double against Perkasa FC -- the last time the two teams met resulted in a tightly contested match that saw Perkasa walk away with a 4-3 win, with Kurmin Hj Bini scoring the winning goal in the 76th minute.

Kurmin scored the opener in the 4-2 win over Kota Ranger on Monday, booking them a ticket into the second round.

There is still another ranger fighting for survival in the FA Cup though, and that is one powered by none other than Shahrazen Hj Md Said.

Should non-league side Rangers emerge victorious over P Lun Bawang on Wednesday, Mar 24, then they will have another tough opponent, Jerudong FC, to beat in order to progress.

Rangers have been handed the toughest route to the top. Down to ten men against Rimba Star FC in the qualifying round, Shahrazen's assist and goal led the team to a 3-2 (AET) win.

Though he did not score against Sabli's FC, the ex-DPMM FC striker, who finished the 2006/2007 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season as the joint top scorer, was alert on the ball and helped the team with his vision and distribution to win 3-1.

The first round of the FA Cup will continue on Sunday, Mar 21, as BPL II-sides Prisons Department take on DST Group FT at the Berakas Sports Complex at 8.15pm.

The Brunei Times

19 March 2010

Expulsion of BAFA

"The executive also agreed to submit to the next FIFA Congress the expulsion of The Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (BAFA) if the BAFA has not been reinstated by then, after noting that no major progress had been made since the BAFA was suspended in September 2009."


16 March 2010

FA Cup - Kilanas beat powerless Ranger

KILANAS FC advanced to the next round of the DST Group Brunei FA Cup when they defeated Kota Ranger 4-2 at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.

Despite the scoreline which suggested an exciting match, it was actually plagued by long period of miscommunication and missed opportunities by both teams.

Yet at the end of the match, it was not the performance that matters but the scores.

Kurmin Hj Bini scored the opener for Kilanas, before Md Nazirul Zulhilmi Hj Anuar doubled the advantage soon after.

Ak Md Sukri Pg Hj Jaludin's brace late in the second half completed their goal fest.

Kota Ranger's Md Masri Md Azri also scored a brace, the second via an impressive freekick that rocketed into the top right corner of the goal in the closing minutes of the match.

More : Brunei Times

11 March 2010

FA Cup: Top meets bottom as Rangers get P Lun Bawang

VIVA RANGERS FC face a tough match in the first round of the DST Group Brunei FA Cup after being drawn against P Lun Bawang in the draw held at the Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) office in Kiulap yesterday.

Slated for Wednesday Mar 24, the most exciting match of the draw was reserved for the final day of the first round.

The Rangers, powered by Shahrazen Hj Md Said, earned the right to continue their fight in the FA Cup by beating Sabli's FC 3-1 in the qualifying rounds final on Friday.

Winless DST Group FC were handed the short end of the straw when they were drawn against undefeated Prisons Department due Sunday Mar 21.

Second place Prisons Department's last result was a 3-2 win over Muara Vella FC while DST Group FC fell 3-2 against Menglait FC.

BPL II champions LLRC FT are up against seventh place Brunei Youth Team.

The first round of the FA Cup will start on Mar 15, Monday, between Kota Ranger and Kilanas FC.

Brunei Times

07 March 2010

FA Cup - Rangers power on

VIVA Rangers FC are into the first round of the DST Group Brunei FA Cup after beating Sabli's FC 3-1 at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.

Four non-league sides battled it out for the sole spot with games last Monday and Tuesday, and Viva Rangers will now go up against 11 DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL) II teams in the first round on March 15.

Formerly known as MSN FC, Sabli's got on the scoresheet 10 minutes before the break after Md Ali Shofian Hj Aliakbar tapped home a cross from Shahrul Hj Sabtu on the right.

A ball over the top caught the entire Viva Rangers' defence napping, leaving just Shahrul and Md Ali Shofian in front of goal.

But with ex-DPMM FC hitman Shahrazen Hj Md Said in their side, Viva Rangers hardly needed to press the panic button.

Though he did not score last night, the striker who finished the 2006/2007 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season as the joint top scorer was alert on the ball and helped the team with his good vision and distribution.

Playing as a central midfielder, Shahrazen created space on the ball and chances for his strikers.

Md Malina Shah Hj Abd Malek equalised in the 40th minute when he reacted first to a shot from Md Sufri Hj Md Yussof which Sabli's goalkeeper Md Hardi Daud found too hot to handle.

Viva Rangers took the lead just two minutes into the second half through Md Firaziziamirul Nazim Hj Abd Ghani, whose cross bounced off a defender and into goal.

It was 3-1 in the 61st minute when Md Amin Matnoor curled a free-kick from well outside the left of the box that sailed into the goal.

Shahrazen nearly found the back of the net in the 90th minute, but Md Hardi did well to dive to his right and save the striker's well-placed shot.

"It was a very tough game ... But I think Rimba Star FC are better," said Shahrazen, referring to their opponents on Monday who they beat 3-2 after extra-time to qualify for last night's match.

"The team (Sabli's) are strong but their only problem is their defence. Our target was always to reach the tournament proper and I think our team spirit won us the game.

"Our next target? The draw is not done yet but we'll want to win our next game," he added.

The draw for the first round of the tournament will be held on Monday at the Football Federation Brunei Darussalam office in Kiulap.

Viva Rangers will face off against 11 DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL) II teams in the first round on March 15.

The 10 BPL I teams will only see action in the second round.

The Brunei Times

Brunei FA Cup - Sabli's FC face Rangers in crucial match

FOUR non-league teams vying for a spot in the DST Group Brunei FA Cup are now down to two.

Rimba Star FC and Peninjau FC were ousted from the competition when they failed to win their individual matches against Viva Rangers FC and Sabli's FC respectively.

Now the victors are set for a head-on collision on March 5, the match that will see who stays and who goes.

As they are non-league teams, football fans might be unfamiliar to the two sides and this guide will serve as an introduction cum preview for the upcoming match.

More : Brunei Times

01 March 2010

Qaf - BPL 1 Champions !

MS ABDB end BPL I champions' unbeaten record

THE Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) handed QAF FC their first defeat in the DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) at Penanjong Camp in Tutong, thus breaking their 17-game undefeated streak and ending the champions' season on a sour note.

Md Isa Hj Bahar gave MS ABDB the lead in the 29th minute and Rosmin Hj Md Khamis added another five minutes later.

Cameroonian Vivan Francis Bayong was on target for QAF FC to make it 2-1 before the break.

However Bayong's goal was all for nought as Rosmin sealed MS ABDB's win by scoring his second of the night in the 68th minute.

Despite the loss, Md Ali Mustafa, the QAF FC head coach, was not shaken.

"We didn't really come into the match hoping to defend the unbeaten streak. What's important is that even though we lost, we have really learned from the experience that the match provided.

"Half of the team fielded tonight (Sunday night) were reserves, so we were able to examine their performance at this level," said the coach.

MS ABDB would savour the bittersweet win last night, getting their revenge over the three times BPL I champions, to whom they have played second fiddle to for most of the season.

QAF FC, on 47 points, will receive a sum of $10,000 for being the BPL I champions.

Second place MS ABDB, on 45 points, are set to gain $7,000.

Third place falls to AM Gunners FC, ending their season with style by beating AH United 6-0 at the Balapan Track and Field in Berakas last night.

Brunei Times