28 February 2015

Brunei set for three tournaments

Friday, February 27, 2015

BRUNEI will once again have the chance to see where they stand on the regional stage after the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) confirmed the country’s participation in this year’s AFF Futsal Championships and the Under-19 and Under-16 Championships.
The AFF Council met in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, where it was revealed that the two junior tournaments will have the participation of all 12 AFF members – the 10 ASEAN states plus Timor Leste and Australia - for the first time. Except for Cambodia, all other members will be lacing up in the AFF Futsal Championships. The AFF’s website stated that all three tournaments will be held in Indonesia, with the AFF Futsal Championships set for Oct 8-18 in Jakarta, the Under-19 Championships set for Aug 22-Sept 4 in Sidoarjo and the Under-16 Championships set for July 27-Aug 7 in Solo.
After finishing bottom of their group with the worst goal difference the last time the country competed in the three tournaments, there is nowhere but up for this year’s teams.
Brunei have been placed in Group A with titleholders and 10-time champions Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Timor Leste in the Futsal Championships, with Group B comprised of Australia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Brunei were one of the five countries which took part in the inaugural AFF Futsal Championships held in Kuala Lumpur in 2001 along with hosts Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore - who are making a return to the meet after a 13-year break.
This year’s AFF Futsal Championships will also be used as the qualifiers for the AFC Futsal Championship in 2016, with the top three teams will make the cut for the AFC event to be held in China.
Meanwhile, the Under-16 tournament has Brunei grouped with defending champions Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam in Group A. Group B comprises of hosts Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore
The Under-19 groupings have yet to be announced.
Brunei did not take part in the Under-19 and Under-16 events last year but were among the 10 countries at last year’s Futsal Championships in Kuala Lumpur.
However, the most pressing tournament the country is preparing for at the moment is the two-legged World Cup qualifier against Chinese Taipei.
Brunei, who will be led by Mike Wong Mun Heng, take on Chinese Taipei on March 12, with the second leg to be played in Brunei on March 17.
Meanwhile, the AFF website also reported National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) President HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah has been extended one of the two remaining positions for AFF vice-president ahead of the April 25 elections.
AFF announced they would support incumbents Honourable Francisco Kalbuadi Lay (Timor Leste) and Maj. Gen Khiev Sameth (Cambodia) to continue as two of the four AFF vice-presidents, with HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah and Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) chairman Datuk Sri’ Prof. Dr. Ir Djohar Arifin Hussin having been extended the two remaining positions.
The website reported that AFF President HRH Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah has received the overwhelming support of the AFF to lead the regional body for another term after receiving the unanimous backing of the 12 members.
The meeting was the AFF Council’s 14th meeting for the 2011/2015 term.

The Brunei Times

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