Gen X beat Unissa 2-1 in the final to emerge champion of the University of Brunei Darussalam Futsal Tournament organised by UBD Football Club in conjunction with the 22nd Convocation Festival at the UBD Sports Hall Complex on Wednesday night.
APA were third after beating PES in a 5-4 penalty shootout.
The best player was awarded to Amalul Arif of Gen X, Izzat Sofri of PES (best scorer) and Syed Abd Muiz of Gen x (best goalkeeper).
Hj Faisal bin Hj Salleh, Student Welfare Officer of UBD and Mohd Saufi bin Misli, President of the Students Council, presented the prizes to the winners.
Red Bull sponsored the tournament in cooperation with event manager Green City Concepts.
DUE to popular demand, a 'meet the fans' session for Saturday's charity match between the 1999 Malaysia Cup winning national team and a star-studded Veteran Football Association (VFA) side will be held a day before the game.
The session will take place on Friday at 4pm at the NBT (B) Sdn Bhd showroom along Jln Gadong.
Singapore's star Fandi Ahmad and Malaysian hero Hassan Sani are set to headline the VFA side, and Singaporeans Malek Awab and Abd Kadir Yahya will also feature for the team.
Hassan who helped steer Malaysia to a 2-1 win over South Korea to qualify for the 1980 Olympics will also have compatriot Matlan Marjan, who scored both the goals during Malaysia's 4-2 loss to England in a 1991 friendly, playing with him.
The two teams will meet at 8.15pm on Saturday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in a charity match to benefit those affected by Pakistan's recent floods.
All proceeds will go towards the Humanitarian Fund for Pakistan Flood Victims
Over the past few days, organisers the VFA have received numerous calls and suggestions that a 'meet the fans' session be held in order to give the fans a chance to get up close and personal with their favourite football legends.
In a Press release issued by the VFA yesterday, the association made it clear that the session would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"For those that have kept pictures, posters and jerseys of their favourite players but have never got them autographed; now is the chance," it said. "This goes not only to the VFA invitational players but also the Brunei stars that won the 1999 Malaysia Cup."
However, there is no confirmation of the exact players who will be at the session.
VFA also stated that it wished to thank NBT (B) Sdn Bhd for letting them the use of the venue.
For the 1999 Malaysia Cup champions, the match will be the first time they have laced up as a team since their 2-1 win over Sarawak at the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
Liew Chuan Fue once again captains the 1999 Malaysia Cup team that will include household names such as Mohd Brian Iman Abdullah Bothwell and Rosli Liman, the latter who scored both goals during the win.
Ibrahim Bakar, Azmanuddin Hj Gillen, Hj Mohd Rosaidi Hj Kamis, Mohd Ali Momin, Hj Mohd Rosanan Abdullah Samak, Nordin Tujoh, Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit, Irwan Mohamad, Fadlin Galawat, Abang Norsilmy Abang Hj Taha have also confirmed their participation in Saturday's game.
The VFA will also have noted ex-national players such as Hj Ahmad Hj Mohin, Suni Mat Jerah, Alijanda Sitom and Puncha Gunong in their line-up.
Tickets are being sold for $5 and $10 at Hua Ho Departmental Store Tg Bunut and Kg Petani, Tutong, Mufakat Sport (Gadong), U-Soff Cafe Serusop and the Stadium Restaurant. For more details contact 8820062/8720105.The Brunei Times
THERE is just no escaping the International Federation of Association Football's (Fifa) suspension on the Sultanate.
On Monday, the Under-18 team from the Co-Curriculum Department returned from Mokpo, South Korea, without even setting a foot in the Asian Schools Under-18 Football Championship.
It turned out that the Sultanate was barred from competing after Fifa sent a letter to the Korea Football Association (KFA), according to head coach Liew Chuan Fue.
"Actually the tournament had been organised for schools. However since all football competitions in South Korea, even those organised by schools, are sanctioned by the KFA, we were unable to participate," Liew told The Brunei Times.
Since KFA is a member of Fifa, it has to abide by the decision made by its parent body.
"We only knew of the decision a day after we arrived, in a meeting between the head delegations of the respective participating teams," said the head coach.
Brunei has been suspended by world governing body Fifa since Nov 2008 for 'government interference'.
The Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) was disbanded by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) for failing to hold annual general meetings (AGM) and submitting annual reports, leading to the Fifa ban.
Expulsion from world football was on the cards but Fifa's Executive Committee agreed to maintain the country's suspension when they met prior to the World Cup in June.
Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) took over control of local football in Dec 2008 but are not recognised by Fifa.
Despite the setback, the outing to Mokpo was not for naught for the 20 young football players.
Though the KFA barred the Sultanate's participation in the Championship, a number of friendlies was set up for the spirit of competition.
The Co-curriculum Department team was put to the test in seven matches four against teams that competed in the Under-18 Football Championship and three against local football academies.
Even at the high school level, South Korea proved itself to be a football powerhouse in Asia.
Brunei were unable to reply against the hosts and Chungang High School, suffering a crushing 0-7 and 0-4 defeat respectively.
Those were, however, the only losses for the team who went on to record positive results from the other five matches: the Philippines (6-2), Mokpo High School (3-2), Tianjin High School (2-1), Macau (3-0) and Vietnam (5-3).
The results will be encouraging for the Co-Curriculum Department's next tournament slated for November, the Asean Schools Under-15 football tournament in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
For those that worry the competition might end up the same way for the Sultanate as in Mokpo can rest easily.
"The situation before only applies to South Korea. We will be able to play in Indonesia. It will be a good preparation, before we host the tournament next year," said Liew, who will also coach the Under-15 team.
It is certainly good news that the Sultanate can compete in the Under-15 edition, but what of the Under-18 players who had dedicated months of training for the competition.
Made up by a majority of the Brunei Youth Team (Under-16) players, they are solely set up to represent Brunei on the international stage.
However as long as the suspension by Fifa is imposed, Brunei's participation in international football will always be restricted.
This shows the gravity of the situation surrounding Brunei football at the moment.
In the tournament proper, Thailand topped South Korea 3-1 in the final to emerge as champions last Friday. Iran won 3-0 in the third-place playoff against Malaysia. The Brunei Times
The Sultanate will not be vying for a berth in the Asean Football Federation's (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualification in Vientiane, Laos in October.
Due to the extended suspension by International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) on Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) in June, Brunei is not eligible to partake in the biennial international football competition organised by the AFF.
Therefore football fans need not hold their breath for the much anticipated return of DPMM FC, who represented the Sultanate in the tournament two years ago.
The national team placed fourth in 2008, collecting a total of four points from as many matches a win, a draw and two losts.
National striker Shahrazen Hj Md Said proved exactly why he was the country's most deadly player in front of goal when he found the back of the net in the 1-1 draw against the Philippines, their first match in the campaign.
In their next match against Timor-Leste, Shahrazen scored a brace for an impressive 4-1 victory against Timor-Leste to help Brunei gain reputation as one of the competition's top-dogs.
The title did not last as they soon found themselves on the losing end of a 3-2 scoreline to Laos in the third qualification match.
In a do-or-die battle against hosts Cambodia, Brunei lost a first half advantage and succumbed to a 2-1 loss at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh to bring an early end to their campaign.
As the opportunity for payback is lost, only four teams will compete in the qualifying round to secure the final two berths between Oct 22-26: Laos, Cambodia, Timor-Leste and the Philippines.
The two teams that advance will join six other nations in the tournament proper in December, which is co-hosted by Vietnam and Indonesia.
Teams that qualified automatically for the finals, based on their tournament records, are defending champions Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar.
In a draw held yesterday in Hanoi, defeated 2008-finalists Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia have been placed in Group A. Meanwhile hosts Vietnam, Singapore and Myanmar are in Group B.
The teams that place first and second in the qualifiers will be allocated the final berth in Group A and B respectively.
The top two teams from each group will advance to home and away semi-finals, with the final also to be played on a home and away basis.
Former England Captain Bryan Robson, who will helm Thailand, expects a tough outing from hosts Indonesia but maintains his team as one of the favourites.
"I think whichever way it was going to go you are going to get at least one tough team, especially as they have home advantage," said Robson.
"(Co-hosts) Indonesia or Vietnam were obviously going to be in the group and provide us with a difficult game. We have drawn Indonesia and I have already heard that there is likely to be 100,000 spectators there and that will be a difficult challenge for the boys.
"But I would say that we will be one of the favourites in the competition."
Three-time title holders Singapore are aiming for the final at least in the eight edition of the tournament.
"The group we are in is slightly easier than the other group, where there will be three title contenders in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia," said Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic.
"Overall I am happy with the draw. It is a good draw for us. There are three stages in the tournament and we need to clear the first two stages to reach our target of the final."
THE Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) has allayed fears that the country's participation in the Asian Schools Under-18 Football Championship is under threat.
"It is a team representing schools, not our national team," FFBD deputy secretary general Lt Col Dr Bahrin Hj Bintang told The Brunei Times yesterday.
"This is a tournament between schools in Asia and is not sanctioned by the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) or Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
"It's alright because it does not deal with Fifa or AFC, it's all through the Ministry of Education," he added.
The tournament at Mokpo, South Korea, started on Wednesday and will end next Sunday.
Concerns about Brunei's involvement arose because the country has been suspended by world governing body Fifa since Nov 2008 for 'government interference'.
The Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) was disbanded by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) for failing to hold annual general meetings (AGM) and submitting annual reports, leading to the Fifa ban.
Expulsion from world football was on the cards but Fifa's Executive Committee agreed to maintain the country's suspension when they met prior to the World Cup in June.
FFBD took over control of local football in Dec 2008 but are not recognised by Fifa.
Despite their lack of acceptance in the international arena, FFBD continue to develop the sport at the national level, organising national leagues at several age-groups with particular emphasis on the grassroots.
The trip to South Korea is not the first time that Brunei has competed overseas since the Fifa suspension. An Under-14 football team participated in the Asean Youth Football Cup organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Bangkok last June.
Lt Col Dr Bahrin said Brunei will also send a team to the Asean Schools Under-15 football tournament in Yogyakarta, Indonesia which will be held either in October or November.
Brunei also plans to host the tournament next year according to the deputy secretary general, who is also manager of last season's DST Group FA Cup winners, the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB).
The 20 players that left to Mokpo for the 38th edition of the tournament have undergone months of training under 1999 Malaysia Cup winners Liew Chuan Fue (coach) and Hj Md Rosanan Abdullah Samak (assistant coach).
Hj Salihin Abdullah was roped in to help correct mistakes between the sticks. The Brunei Times
The ruling body of local football, the Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD), might just want to hold off from signing the papers that will ban import players from the DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL) just yet.
Back in April the FFBD secretary-general, Sheikh Nordin Sheikh Mohamad, revealed the plan in an interview with The Brunei Times.
"Currently we are wondering whether import players should still be allowed in the BPL. There is no point if only one team can afford them. It's causing an imbalance within the league and we would like it to be fair for all. These are changes that could be made to improve the overall quality of the league," Sheikh Nordin had said.
However, the FFBD would be wise to revise a page from neighbouring country Malaysia's book first.
After barring foreign players from playing in the Malaysia Premier League for only a season, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is now considering on reversing the ruling.
According to Bernama, a meeting will be held in October in which the FAM would discuss the issue, among other things.
The 2009 season was the second time that FAM had enforced the ban on import players, the first was in 1999.
The 1999 ban was a result of the Asian financial crisis and was revoked three years later.
The FAM's decision to ban imports stood on grounds that it would help increase the standard of local football.
The difference here is that import players are said to cause an imbalance to the BPL, well at least one import player.
Imports in Brunei football fall under two categories, the first are professional footballers who have international transfer certificates (ITC) and the second are foreign workers who have green identification cards.
BPL I teams like AM Gunners FC and Wijaya FC and BPL II sides like Brunei Association of Banks (BAB) and Kota Ranger have players in the latter group.
Judging from last season's results, there was no solid proof that imports gave the teams a clear advantage in their respective leagues.
While the Gunners finished third and BAB ended fourth, Wijaya FC and Kota Ranger placed at the bottom of the table.
Therefore, the proposed ban by the FFBD can be squarely traced to one man, QAF FC's striker Viban Francis Bayong.
The Cameroonian is the only professional footballer who has an international transfer certificate in the BPL.
QAF FC indeed owe the 29-year-old hitman for their stranglehold on the BPL I.
Bayong, whose biggest claim to fame was being signed by Croatian powerhouses NK Dinamo Zagreb in 2002, scored 20 of 60 of QAF FC's goals in last season's competition.
Besides claiming the BPL I Top Scorer award, his tally also aided QAF FC to secure the league title for the third consecutive season.
Yet it would seem highly unrealistic that FFBD would take a step in this direction solely because of one man's skills in front of goal, especially for a sport in which playing as a team is key.
"I am sure Brunei needs imports to let football improve. It will be more challenging and the players can all gain more," said Bayong after the news was broken to him in April.
This avid observer of local football agrees wholeheartedly because unlike other foreign leagues, the number of foreign players in the BPL is still at an acceptable level.
Even the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) president Sepp Blatter would not bat an eyelid at the situation. A strong advocate against the influx of foreign players in a league, Blatter was the one who proposed the '6+5' rule ( at least six local players and five imports at the start of a match) back in 2008.
It was eventually abandoned in June, due to a decision of the European Commission that such a proposal would contravene European Union labour laws.
One of the objectives of this rule was to restore the national identity of football clubs, taking into account that English Premier League (EPL) teams like Arsenal and Chelsea have less than a handful of English players in the roster.
Italian Serie A winners and European champions Inter Milan also came under scrutiny following their 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final last season.
Italy's treble winners failed to field a single Italian in their starting eleven, which they did again on Aug 21 to win 3-1 against AS Roma in the Italian Supercup.
Undoubtedly the best Italian team who failed to field a single Italian came under fire due to their selection policy and Inter president Massimo Moratti responded: "If it was normal (that Inter are hated) it's justified by the fact that if I was the other team that had tried to win but hadn't managed it, of course I wouldn't like the one that had won. That's natural."
A perfectly sound reasoning, which could also be used to explain those in favour of an import ban in the BPL.
Other sports in the Sultanate are complaining about the lack of exposure to further improve their abilities.
Why then should the FFBD throw away this one opportunity for self improvement for having import players is the closest that local players will get in terms of international exposure.
The issue surrounding the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) and Fifa has yet to be resolved and, thus, Brunei is still under suspension and prevented from playing at the international stage.
Therefore, it would be wise for the FFBD to re-think the proposed ban, if it indeed wants the Sultanate to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of football. It is the next best thing to prepare the Sultanate for its return to the international stage.
Johannesburg: The FIFA Congress on Thursday confirmed the suspension of the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (BAFA), as proposed by the FIFA Executive Committee.
As the chances of the BAFA being re-registered in the coming weeks have improved, the FIFA Congress also gave the FIFA Executive Committee the authority to lift this suspension if the BAFA is re-registered.
The FIFA Executive Committee had earlier agreed to recommend to the FIFA Congress the suspension instead of an expulsion as previously envisaged until the 2011 FIFA Congress.
"Thus the outcome of the Fifa Congress only raises more questions than answers, what is Brunei's move and what of FFBD?
Previously if the expulsion did go through during the congress meeting in these two days, Brunei will have had to wait until at least 2012 to have any chance of playing again on the international stage.
In March, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) explained that there were two alternatives if the Sultanate wants to remain a part of the global football community.
First option is the re-registration of Bafa by the local authorities and second, for a new body to officially apply and be recognised by Fifa.
"The application of a new body can come only after the first body has been expelled," said Regenass in an email to The Brunei Times on April 2.
"That means a new association could only expect to join Fifa and play in international competition after mid 2012," Regenass added.
If the same rules apply with the extended suspension, it would be at least in 2013 that Brunei will get a taste of international football if Bafa is still not re-registered by then."
Johannesburg: The FIFA Executive Committee decided on Monday here that the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (BAFA) will remain suspended instead of being expelled.
This follows changes in the government of Brunei Darussalam that provide a measure of hope that BAFA could be re-registered.
The executive agreed to recommend to the FIFA Congress the suspension of instead of an expulsion as previously envisaged, and to request the Congress to give the FIFA Executive Committee the competence to temporarily lift the suspension of BAFA until the 2011 FIFA Congress if BAFA is re-registered.
THE Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) held a cash handing over ceremony to the winners of the respective leagues in the DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL) at the Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong yesterday.
In his welcoming speech, Dato Paduka Hj Md Hamid Hj Md Jaafar, the president of FFBD, congratulated the teams for their achievements this season.
"Congratulation to the victorious teams that will be receiving their cash prizes this evening. We have already made plans for the 2010/11 season ... and soon we hope to kick-start the Under-14 and Under-16 National Leagues," said the president.
Dato Paduka Hj Md Hamid then thanked all those who contributed to a successful season, especially the DST Group who contributed a total of B$120,000 for the BPL, DST Group FA Cup and DST Group League Cup.
The president then handed the prizes to the respective winners.
First and foremost was QAF FC, represented by coach Rahim Hj Daud, who received a sum of B$10,000 as the BPL I champions.
One of the most dominant forces in Brunei football, QAF FC clinched the title with a 2-0 victory over AH United on Feb 16 with one match left in the season.
Viban Francis Bayong's brace in the match helped QAF FC capture the BPL I crown for three consecutive years.
QAF FC also received B$2,000 as the runners-up of the FA Cup.
BPL I runners-up and FA Cup champions, the Royal Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB), received B$7,000 and B$3,000 respectively for their achievements.
MS ABDB beat arch-rivals QAF FC 2-1 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on April 17, stopping them from being the first team to capture a quadruple after having secured the Champions Cup, BPL I title and the DST Group League Cup.
AM Gunners FC, who placed third in the BPL I, received B$5,000.
The top three BPL II teams were also awarded their prizes.
Undefeated champions, LLRC FT, were awarded a sum of B$5,000 which should be helpful for their venture into the BPL I next season.
Second place Prisons Department received B$3,000. They will join LLRC FT in the top flight next season, having crushed BPL I bottom dwellers NBT FC 5-1 in the play-off on April 21.
Temburong-based P Lun Bawang got B$2,000 for placing third.
DST Group continued its active involvement in local football after agreeing to sign on as tournament sponsors for the 2010 National Veterans League yesterday.
Starting its affiliation with football in the Sultanate during the 2007/2008 season of the Brunei League, the company proved that its support is not only limited to the country's premier competition by providing $10,000 for the administration of Brunei's sole veteran league.
Group Development Officer of DST Group Hj Marsad Hj Ismail handed over a mock cheque for the amount to Veteran Football Association (VFA) president Ali Hj Ismail during a ceremony at DST Group's headquarters in Tungku Link.
Kicking off on May 9, not only is the tournament the first that VFA has organised since it was formed in November last year, it is also the only one of its kind to be held.
"We really want to thank DST Group for giving us its support," said the competition's secretariat Sharbini Mohidin.
Regarding the import ban, which is yet to be confirmed, by FFBD on the BPL, the coach was on the fence about the subject.
"One way to look at it is our locals will benefit from it, because more will be able to play. This is in line with every team's target of giving birth to talented local players that will be able to represent Brunei in future competitions.
"However there is a downside to this. Imports are brought in because their skills and abilities are able to improve the team's performance. The team as a whole are able to share this knowledge between themselves. Plus the exposure to imports will be beneficial to the locals who play against them, helping to boost their confidence," said the manager.
SINCE the Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) officially took over the reins of Brunei football, it has received a luke warm response from the public.
The negative criticism has largely come on the back of the international football ban, imposed by the International Federation of Football Association (Fifa) at its executive committee meeting in Rio de Janeiro on Sept 29.
However, FFBD's secretary-general, Sheikh Nordin Sheikh Mohamad, would like football fans to understand that the federation has nothing to do whith what happened in Rio.
"Our hands are tied regarding the subject. We are only involved in football and the ban is beyond our jurisdiction," said Sheikh Nordin.
"Those decisions were done by the relevant authorities and we have to respect that. Until there are any changes, FFBD will continue to run football in the country," said the secretary-general.
And it is not like the new football body has been merely sitting on its hands. So far, the federation has successfully run the U-14 National League, U-16 National League, DST Group Brunei Premier League (BPL) I/II, Champions' Cup, DST Group Brunei League Cup and the DST Group Brunei FA Cup in its very first year in charge.
"I have to thank our sponsors for making this season a success. Without the financial support of our main sponsor, DST Group and not to mention Brunei Shell Petroleum Company and Brunei LNG, it would not have been possible," said Sheikh Nordin.
Officially set up on Jan 14 last year, FFBD was formed by local football enthusiasts who had development in mind.
"We had a strong setup from the start. FFBD president and vice-president, Dato Paduka Hj Md Hamid Hj Md Jaafar and Hj Salleh Bustamam Hj Zainal Abidin respectively are both individuals that want to see the Sultanate become a force to be reckoned with in football. Even Hj Md Rosanan Abdullah Samak, Liew Chuan Fue and others, who were among the 1999 Malaysia Cup winners, have jumped on the bandwagon. If they didn't believe in our vision, this won't have been possible."
The secretary-general went on to outlay his plans for the upcoming season.
"Currently we are wondering whether import players should still be allowed. There is no point if only one team can afford them. It's causing an imbalance within the league and we would like it to be fair for all. These are changes that are made to improve the overall quality of the league. The matter is not finalised yet though but if it does come into effect, it would be in the forthcoming season," said Sheikh Nordin.
If the rule does come to fruition, it would be detrimental for QAF FC. The three-times BPL I champions will be forced out of the services of Cameroonian Viban Francis Bayong, the BPL I top-scorer for the last three years running.
"We will also be holding a Futsal league at the end of the year. Originally planned for last year, FFBD weren't able to run it due to the time constraint and we weren't able to secure a venue yet," he said.
On the topic of referees, Sheikh Nordin acknowledged there were room for improvements.
"It would be better if there were more quality referees that are well versed in the laws of the game. That is why FFBD we are working hard to have better relations with match officials," said Sheikh Nordin.
As the FIFA World Cup is going to be the biggest football tournament this year, FFBD also plans to hold a World Cup-themed competition.
"In conjunction with the World Cup, FFBD will be hosting a football carnival for U-13 and U-10.
It will be held in conjunction with the school holidays. This is one of our efforts at developing football talent from a young age," said Sheikh Nordin.
The secretary-general then closed the interview by stating, "It is our very fervent hope that Fifa will lift the ban and recognise the federation soon. If they could only witness what FFBD have accomplished in it's debut season. I believe Fifa only want the best for Brunei football and currently, with the effort FFBD have put into local football, we are on course toward that goal."
THE FA Cup curse continues for Brunei giants QAF FC. Playing in their first DST Group Brunei FA Cup final, the Brunei Premier League I champions were left crying in the rain when arch-rivals the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) beat them 2-1 to keep their crown.
QAF FC, who are the BPL I champions, the Champions Cup winners and the DST Group Brunei League Cup holders, went into last night's final at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas looking to create history by capturing a quadruple. But their dreams were shattered by poor defence.
QAF FC conceded two early goals, via Md Amalul Ariffin Shah Said's and Rosmin Hj Md Kamis's headers.
Vivan Francis Bayong's unexpected rocket in the 61st minute would cut the deficit, but the armymen held their nerves to make it a successful title defence.
Lt Col Dr Bahrin Hj Bintang, the manager of MS ABDB, was probably the happiest man at the stadium beaming from ear to ear after the match.
"Tonight's hard-earned victory makes us the three-time champions of the FA Cup. We have also been in six consecutive finals. Witnessing the players' spirited performance tonight, they really deserve to win it.
"The hardest obstacle we had to face in this match was QAF FC's import player. We played a fantastic first half, but Vivan's goal disrupted our rhythm," said the MS ABDB manager.
"QAF FC worked hard to win their first FA Cup, but MS ABDB were there to stop them."
QAF FC's coach, Md Ali Mustafa, does not share Lt Col Dr Bahrin's sentiments though, feeling his team were the 'winners'.
"I am very proud of my players. They gave a good performance. If it wasn't for the early mistakes that led to the goals in the first half, we would have won (the game) as we were dominant in the second.
"Though we did not win the Cup, I believe that we won the match. QAF FC have the best players of all," said Md Ali.
MS ABDB broke the hearts of AM Gunners FC with a 2-1 victory, thanks to a late 87th minute headed goal by Md Safari Wahit, to qualify for the DST Group Brunei FA Cup finals at the Berakas Sports Complex last night.
The Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) maintained a 1-0 lead for most of the match via Md Sardillah Hj Abdullah's goal in the first half, only for ex-DPMM FC player Hj Md Subhi Abdillah Hj Bakir to equalise in the 79th minute for the Gunners.
Just when it seemed like the match was heading into extra-time, Md Safari provided the winning goal to give MS ABDB its sixth FA Cup final appearance since the competition's inception in 2002.
"It was a very good match overall. I thought our first half performance was better than the second. I guess it was the fact that we were more experienced that we were able to triumph tonight," said Lt Col Dr Bahrin Hj Bintang, MS ABDB's manager.
"We have already won it twice in 2003 and 2007 so we want more. This campaign is made more difficult as our squad is currently plagued with injuries. Some of our men are actually playing in positions which they are not used to," added the manager.
Asked of final-opponent QAF FC, the manager answered, "Well you can say that they are our common rival. So we just want to perform at our best in the final."
The FA Cup final will be contested at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Saturday, Apr 17.
WHEN a defence is this bad, it deserves to get flayed. And that is exactly what happened last nigh to a shell shocked NBT FC after they had already given up three goals in the opening four minutes of action.
QAF FC went on to batter a hapless NBT 7-1 enroute to their first FA Cup final.
Mardi Bujang and Adie Arsham Muhd Salleh scored braces and Ak Md Kamarul Ariffin Pg Ramlee, Hardi Bujang and Riwandi Wahit also got on the scoresheet for the reigning Brunei Premier League I champions.
"I think this has been one of our best performances in this tournament," beamed QAF FC's manager Rahim Hj Daud after the match at the Berakas Sports Complex.
THE International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) yesterday said that Brunei "can be back in international football in 2012".
On Monday the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) explained that the Sultanate has two alternatives if it wants to remain a part of the global football community, with the second option calling for a new body to officially apply to Fifa and AFC.
The first option called for the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) to be re-registered by local authorities, and the normal course of action would be Fifa in consultation with the AFC would appoint an interim committee which might be at the recommendation of current Brunei football stakeholders.
"Yes (the second option is viable), but as a precision, the application of a new body can come only after the first body has been expelled," said Fifa's Director of member associations Thierry Regenass in an email to The Brunei Times yesterday.
"That means that a new association could only expect to join Fifa and play in international competition after mid 2012," he added.
According to the AFC, the new national association (the Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam) has only sent a letter to Asia's governing body for the sport to announce its formation and intention to apply for membership.
NORILHAM Hj Jais is betting on Indera FC's team chemistry to see them through tonight's DST Group Brunei FA Cup quarter-final match against AM Gunners FC.
The match at the Berakas Sports Complex will be the ex-DPMM FC assistant coach's seventh match in charge of Indera, and he said he has seen marked changes in the side.
Two ex-DPMM FC players, Helmi Zambin and Azwan Salleh, helped Indera to a 3-2 result over Majra FC in the second round on Tuesday.
Left winger Sairol Hj Sahari makes up the third player in the trio of ex-DPMM midfielders currently playing for Indera, but Norilham downplayed suggestions that it was the DPMM FC connection that won the match.
"It's not just the ex-DPMM FC players. I can see the connection between the DPMM players and non-DPMM FC players and it is phenomenal!" he said.
"I am really impressed with the team since my first match in charge and the players know how to adjust.
"A lot of them are friends ... so they know each other quite well. I can see no problem. I am very optimistic," he added.
After a 1-0 defeat to league leaders QAF FC in his first match in charge on Jan 13, Norilham steered Indera to two wins, a draw and a loss, eventually finishing sixth in the 10-team DST Group Brunei Premier League I.
The coach will be aiming for his first win over AM Gunners, with the previous two encounters ending in a draw and a loss.
AM Gunners FC beat Indera 4-2 in their first round match on Aug 5, with the second round game on Feb 15 a 1-1 draw after Sairol's penalty cancelled out a Md Nazlee Pehin Dato Hj Jaafar strike.
With a mid-table finish in the league, Norilham said he was hoping to make up for it in the FA Cup.
"I know the boys can do the job. They are hungry for the Cup even though the finish in the league wasn't that excellent," said Norilham.
"I told them to treat every game like the final, and if they want to get the trophy, hard work is the answer.
"I have always told the boys they must maintain their discipline during games; both offensively and defensively. Good defence will win championships," he added.
Finishing third in the league in their debut campaign, AM Gunners can also count on the experience of two ex-DPMM FC midfielders in Hj Muhd Subhi Abdillah Hj Bakir and Rosmini Kahar.
ROYAL Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) showed exactly why they are the defending DST Group Brunei FA Cup champions by crushing Brunei Shell FT (BSFT) 8-1 at the Berakas Sports Complex last night, booking their spot in the quarterfinals.
Abd Azizi Ali Rahman scored a hat-trick while skipper Rosmin Hj Md Kamis came through with a pair of goals.
THE Asian Football Confederation yesterday suggested that Brunei has alternatives if it wants to remain a part of the global football community.
Though the first option is nothing new, the second is a bolt from the blue since the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) has always insisted that it is Bafa or nothing for them.
"The first option is that Bafa will continue to be the official member (and) it will nominate an interim body which Fifa will consider," AFC's Director of Communications & Media, Sean Tohidi, told the Brunei Times yesterday.
"Fifa will need to approve this interim body in consultation from AFC. The interim body will run the operation until the new board is elected.
"The second option is that a new organising body will need to officially apply to Fifa and AFC. Once it has been accepted as a "provisional member" it will have no voting rights for at least two years.
"Traditionally, the application is first accepted by Fifa and then considered by AFC but the application can be submitted simultaneously. "They (Brunei) have sent a letter to AFC announcing the formation of the new body. I am unsure if they have officially applied to become a member," added Tohidi.
Tohidi said that the second option was just as acceptable for Fifa and AFC, a move which must count as a major concession on their part. "What they (Fifa and AFC) want is what is best for football," said Tohidi. "That Brunei is represented ... Brunei in competitions," Tohidi said.
Though he wasn't aware of its existence, the "new body" that Tohidi was probably referring to was the Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD). Having elected its members early last year, FFBD is recognised locally as the new controlling body for football in Brunei and has been organising national leagues at several age-groups, with the National Under-16 League coming to a close last Saturday and the DST Group Brunei FA Cup currently in its second round.
It might not be recognised by Fifa or AFC but that could be set to change. Article 3.9 of the AFC Statutes state that "Provisional" and "Associate" members shall be entitled to all the privileges of a Member Association except the right to vote at the Congress or the Extraordinary Congress and to hold office, meaning Brunei can be back in the international picture under FFBD.
QAF FC will clash head on with Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT) in a DST Group Brunei FA Cup quarterfinal match which can be dubbed the battle of champions.
Set for promotion to the DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) next season, LLRC FT will get an early taste of the best that the top tier league of Brunei football has to offer.
Undefeated during the DST Group BPL II season, LLRC FT - who beat Muara Vella FC 2-1 last night to advance - have the unenviable task of facing BPL I champions QAF FC on Sunday (April 4).
The DST Group BPL II champions found out their fate yesterday when the FA Cup quarterfinals draw was held at the Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) headquarters in Kiulap.
QAF FC showed how serious they were in their quest for the FA Cup by crushing second round opponents Wijaya FC 5-0 on Friday (March 26). BPL I's top scorer last season with 20 goals, Cameroonian Viban Francis Bayong continued his fine form by netting two goals in the match.
Chaired by FFBD secretariat Johari Hj Bungsu, Abdul Rahim Md Taib and Hj Md Hidayat Awg Hj Montil from the RTB Sport TV Unit were handed the honour of conducting the draws for actively supporting the BPL from the start. The first team drawn in the quarterfinals was Jerudong FC, who will meet either Brunei Shell FT or the Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) on Saturday, (April 3).
Originally slated for Friday, (April 2) the tie was postponed after taking into consideration that the players during the MS ABDB- Brunei Shell FT match tomorrow (Wednesday) would not have enough time to rest.
Therefore, the Friday slot will feature AM Gunners FC up against either Indera FC or Majra FC, who will be contesting for the spot tonight at the Berakas Sports Complex.
After Edi Ruslan Abd Samad and Md Nazri Hj Hassan fired the Gunners to a two-goal lead, second round opponents AH United equalised in the second half within the space of 10 minutes due to complacency on Sunday (March 28).
However, the Gunners recovered their form in time to end the match 5-2 in their favour. The final quarterfinal slot is reserved for Kilanas FC against NBT FC or Prisons Department on Saturday (April 3) at the Berakas Sports Complex.
Dangerously set for automatic relegation into the BPL II next season with the deciding match yet to be played, NBT FC will take on the undefeated second placed BPL II side Prisons Department at the Balapan Track and Field at 8.15pm tonight.
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 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.
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.
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
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 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."
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.
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 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.
THE Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) is encouraging teams interested to compete in next season's DST Group Brunei Premier League II (BPL II) to start applying.
Tournament namesakes DST Group FC are 10th in the 11-team BPL II, with Kota Ranger at the bottom of the table.
Both teams have yet to win a match and will compete in a play-off at the end of the season, with the losers kicked out of the league to make way for a new side.
"We want the interested teams to apply as early as possible," said FFBD secretariat Johari Hj Bungsu during a draw for the DST Group Brunei FA Cup on Thursday.
"Five teams have already applied. The teams' inclusion will be based on their quality so we need time to asses them.
"Apply for BPL II though, not BPL I. If you give us $100,000 for sponsorship we'll let you play in BPL I," he joked.
Four of the teams who might apply are Rimba Star FC, Sabli's FC, Peninjau FC and Viva Rangers.
The four non-league teams will battle it out for a place in the first round of the DST Group Brunei FA Cup on March 1, and not since the 2004/05 season have non-league teams been handed a chance to play in the competition.
Undefeated the whole season, Liang Lumut Recreation Club Football Team (LLRC FT) were crowned champions of BPL II when they beat Menglait FC 2-1 on Feb 8 to earn promotion to BPL I.
The two bottom teams in BPL I, Brunei Shell Football Team (BSFT) and NBT FC will also compete in a play-off, with the losers relegated to BPL II.
QAF FC won the DST Group Brunei Premier League I for the third straight season when they beat AH United 2-0 on Tuesday.
FOUR non-league teams will battle it out for a place in the first round of the DST Group Brunei FA Cup on March 1.
Not since the 2004/05 season have non-league teams been given the opportunity to play in the competition, and the four sides will do their best to prove that they are worth of their places.
Viva Rangers face off against Rimba Star FC on March 1 while Sabli's FC and Peninjau FC take to the field the next day.
The winners of the two matches face each other for a spot in the tournament proper on March 5, with all three games set to be held at the Berakas Sports Complex in Berakas.
The knock-out competition will enter its first round on March 15 when the sole non-league team will be drawn with the 11 DST Group Brunei Premier League II (BPL II) teams.
The winners of the six matches will advance to the second round on March 27, where they will meet the 10 teams from BPL I.
It will be an open draw every round until the semi-finals. The final is slated for April 17, with the last date to submit team lists on Feb 25.
Yesterday's draw was made by DST Group Brunei FA Cup's chairman Liew Chuan Fue at the Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) office in Kiulap, after which FFBD secretariat Johari Hj Bungsu explained the competition's rules and regulations.
Of particular interest to the managers in attendance was the ban on transfers, with FFBD's 'no open transfer window' policy meaning that players have to play for the clubs they registered with at the beginning of the season.
Johari also outlined the reasons why non-league clubs have not featured in the FA Cup for the past five years.
"It is a problem of quality," he said.
"On and off the field, the clubs have to show professionalism and must have a high standard of management.
"This includes punctuality and adherence to the rules," he said, adding that in the past non-league clubs had failed to submit their start lists half-an-hour before matches.
Looking at what is up for grabs, the teams have all the motivation to keep the organisers happy.
The FA Cup champions will receive a challenge trophy, individual medals and $3,000 while the runners-up will receive individual medals and $2,000.
The Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB) are the competition's reigning champions, beating Wijaya FC 1-0 in final of the 2007/08 season.
DEFENDERS beware, ex-DPMM FC hitman Shahrazen Hj Md Said will be on the loose next month!
The DST Group Brunei FA Cup will mark the return of the striker to competitive football, and he is set to play for non-league side Viva Rangers against Rimba Star FC on March 1 in the qualifying round.
Though the 25-year-old forward has played in several futsal tournaments and friendly matches since DPMM FC ended their Singapore League campaign last October, the standard of the competitions was nowhere close to the Brunei FA Cup.
Preferring to stay close to his family, Shahrazen famously shunned a move to Indonesia Super League side Persiba Balikpapan last November the striker also being courted by Malaysian giants Selangor and Pahang.
A MD NADZRIN ABDULLAH brace helped AM Gunners FC to a 5-1 victory over Brunei Shell Football Team (BSFT) in their first match at the Belait district last night.
Solidifying AM Gunners' position at third in the DSTGroup Brunei Premier League I (BPL I), the result at the Brunei Shell Recreational Club football field in Seria cuts the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council's (MS ABDB) lead in second place to only one point.
With two games left for both clubs, the battle for second will go down to the wire until the season finale on Feb 27.
Fifa in a statement to The Brunei Times denies international ban on Brunei football to be lifted in June 2013
THERE is still no light in sight at the end of the tunnel for Brunei football despite what was stated on DPMM FC's website.
Brunei's professional football club DPMM FC offered a glimmer of hope for football fans in the Sultanate when they announced on their official website that: "Brunei has been suspended by Fifa from international competitions until June 2013."
A good news since no 'liberation day' was mentioned previously.
When the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) slapped a ban on the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) on Sept 29 thus banning the national football team and all club sides in the country from international competitions the sport's governing body only stated that "the suspension will run until Bafa is reinstated by the government".
So the liberation day in June 2013 as cited by the DPMM FC's website was greeted with joy by the fans as it meant Brunei would be back in international scene in just three years' time.
But, in a statement to The Brunei Times yesterday, Fifa swiftly rubbished the statement and re-affirmed its stance.
"We can confirm that Brunei is suspended until Bafa the only football-controlling body recognised by Fifa (in Brunei) is re-registered by the government."
A DPMM FC official, when contacted yesterday, said he had no idea about the supposed 'June 2013 liberation day'.
The official also said that he didn't know where the website obtained that date.
QAF FC only need one more win to become the DSTGroup Brunei Premier League I (BPL I)champions for the third consecutive time when they crushed NBT FC 6-1 at the Berakas Sports Complex in Berakas last night.
"We only have to beat AH United next week to clinch the title and we will work hard to earn that win," said Rahim Hj Daud, manager of QAF. "That's all we need, one more win and for the last game be it a draw or lost, it doesn't matter anymore."
Unbeaten QAF showed another top class win against bottom dwellers NBT, making circles around the opponents on the field even though regulars Riwandi Wahit, Vivan Francis Bayong and goalkeeper Md Sahan Mumtazali did not feature in the match.
FUTSALAFC is another casualty for international football for Brunei Darussalam. Recently Brunei DS was dropped from the Futsal Tournament organised by AFC.
I am sure. Brunei Darussalam will again be dropped from Pre World Cup and Pre Asian Cup as well Asean Football championship known as Suzuki Cup. How long will we be like this?
Is there anybody who will look into this matter and put us back in the regional and international football calendar again? Are we going to be isolated in regional and international football? What are the stakeholders in football doing and going to do about this matter?The losers are the youths of Brunei Darussalam.
Regarding FIFA - FIFA has cared a lot about Brunei FA hence:
It has sent two of its officials at the very first instance when the BAFA was officially deregistered. and failed in its appeal to the relevant agencies.
A delegation from AFC led by its President (Mr Hammim) also came to Brunei to meet relevant officials.
The Director of International membership from FIFA also came to Brunei DS and had meetings with all football stakeholders.
FIFA has even "put Brunei Darussalam'' within the Goal Project by "allocating" funds.
The Headquarters of BAFA which is now standing beautifully at Berakas near SNHB - just for the sake of the football development in Brunei Darussalam.
Lastly FIFA has organised courses an forums in Brunei and outside Brunei for football administrators, coaches and referees just "t give the football stakeholders and professionals" experience and knowledge so that football development in Brunei DS will be at par with its counter parts within Asean, Asia and even within FIFA football families.
DPMM FC don't look like taking to the pitch anytime soon.
The Singapore League (S-League) yesterday announced that French side Etoile FC have become the first European team to join the competition after their entry and that of China's Beijing Guoan were accepted.
The newly formed French side and the Beijing team become the eighth and ninth foreign sides to play in the Singapore domestic league.
But when asked about DPMM FC's chances of rejoining the fray after having been invited to compete, assistant team manager Ali Hj Momin was in the dark.
"So far ... everything is still a question-mark," he said yesterday. "The deadline has already passed and we are not sure what is happening now."
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) had given DPMM FC until Jan 7 to confirm their participation.
DPMM FC were expelled from last year's S-League campaign when the Federation Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) suspended the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) for government interference in its affairs in September.
It meant the national football team and all club sides in the country could not play in international competitions, and DPMM FC were thrown out of the S-League with only five games left in their S-League debut season.
Vjeran Simunic, the coach who led the team to their Singapore League Cup success in June, returned to Croatia and the team were disbanded.
The FAS has said that DPMM FC's participation in the S-League hinges on the reinstatement of Bafa.
THERE is still no light at the end of the tunnel for DPMM FC.
Two days have passed since the Jan 7 deadline given to DPMM FC expired, but the Brunei side are still waiting for a response from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on whether they will be playing in the upcoming Singapore League (S-League) which starts in February.
"We haven't heard anything yet regarding the S-League offer. We haven't played together since we stopped training last year," said Pg Sallehuddin Pg Hj Damit, the ex-DPMM FC captain, when contacted yesterday.
Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin, the DPMM FC manager, gave the nation a good news last Saturday when he said: "The FAS has offered us another chance of playing in the S-League in the upcoming season.
"We have been given up to Jan 7 to come up with an answer, but we are hoping that the issue regarding Bafa can be resolved in time for us to play in the S-League again," the DPMM FC manager added.
BRUNEI will have to wait another day before knowing whether DPMM FC will play in the upcoming Singapore League (S-League) which starts next month.
"There's no news from our side. You should check with the club directly," said Eric Ong, the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) marketing and communications manager, when contacted yesterday.
The club, when contacted, however said that it was awaiting a response from the FAS.
"We are still waiting for the FAS to give us the news," said Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin, the DPMM FC manager, yesterday.
Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin gave the nation a good news last Saturday when he said: "The FAS has offered us another chance of playing in the S-League in the upcoming season.
"We have been given up to Jan 7 to come up with an answer, but we are hoping that the issue regarding Bafa can be resolved in time for us to play in the S-League again," the DPMM FC manager added.
The national football team and all club sides in the country cannot play in international competitions due to a global suspension slapped by Fifa on the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) in September last year.
AM GUNNERS stamped their class over Wijaya FC 4-1 at the Berakas Sports Complex as the DST Group Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) continued last night.
The Gunners were in total domination from start to finish but were unable to find the finish which they needed. Wijaya were suffering from poor passes and barely found a chance to attack at all.
The night's other match saw BPL I teams Jerudong FC held to a 1-1 draw with AH United at the Balapan Track and Field in Berakas. AH United's Md Nazirul Nazreen scored in the 34th minute before Jerudong's Mohd Azwan Ali Rahman equalised in the 37th minute.The Brunei Times
SHAHRAZEN MD SAID is always ready to put his scoring boots back on, provided the ban passed by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) on the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) is lifted.
DPMM FC have been offered an opportunity to compete in the upcoming season of the Singapore League (S-League) by Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
The new S-League season starts next month.
Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin, the DPMM FC manager, told The Brunei Times on Saturday that the Brunei side had received an offer to compete in the S-League in the upcoming season.
"The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has offered us another chance of playing in the Singapore League (S-League) in the upcoming season," he had said.
However, the invite depends on whether the authorities can reinstate Bafa by the Jan 7 (Thursday) deadline set by the FAS.
Shahrazen, DPMM FC's top scorer in their debut season in the S-League with nine goals, admitted that the chance for Bafa to be reinstated in time looked very bleak.
"We have been training hard for the past two weeks but it looks like today (Monday) could be the last training session we'll have.
"We will have to wait till Thursday to know the outcome, but the chance (of us playing in the S-League) is slim as the issue isn't resolved yet." said Shahrazen.
DPMM FC were dropped from the S-League due to a global suspension by Fifa on Bafa, which meant that all Brunei clubs and teams could no longer play international football.
Since then, Shahrazen had called time off on football despite receiving several offers from various clubs local and abroad.
"I have had lots of offers from interested clubs, recently from Balestier Khalsa FC of Singapore."
Balestier are one of the clubs that are going to compete in the 2010/11 S-League season.
"But I feel like I'm not ready to respond to them. There are lots of things that I have to think about like work and especially family.
"I have also yet to sort out the minor details like accommodation. These are things to consider before moving overseas," he added.
If things fail to work out, either with DPMM FC or other foreign clubs, he might play in the DSTGroup Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) for his old side, AH United.
"If the issue isn't resolved, I'll probably play for my old club AH United, even though I have had offers from other BPL I teams."
Though the player has taken time off from professional football, he has not completely dropped off the football grid.
"I have been making myself busy playing in some futsal tournaments and some friendlies."
Asked who his idols are in football, Shahrazen said: "I have always been a Manchester United fan. It has changed with time; it used to be David Beckham, then Cristiano Ronaldo and currently it's Wayne Rooney."
If Shahrazen continues to play and develop, he could be Brunei's own Rooney.
He won Bruneians' hearts when he finished the 2006/2007 Malaysian Super League (MSL) season as the top scorer, tied with Perak's Keita Mandjou on 21 goals.
The striker believed that was one of the best moments in his professional career besides winning the Singapore League Cup in June last year.
DON'T hold your breath DPMM FC fans. The club may not be able to return to the Singapore League (S-League) after all.
Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin, the DPMM FC manager, told The Brunei Times on Saturday that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) had offered another opportunity for the Brunei side to compete in the S-League in the upcoming season which starts next month.
However, this boils down to how fast the authorities can react to reinstate the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa). The FAS has given DPMM FC a Jan 7 (Thursday) deadline.
Football's governing body in the Sultanate, the Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) which was established back in 2008 after Bafa was deregistered was shocked to learn about the FAS offer.
"I don't think I can comment much on the subject because I haven't heard anything about it," said Lt Col Dr Bahrin Hj Bintang, FFBD's deputy secretary-general in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"Jan 7 is just four days away. Something could still happen, but I doubt that it (the reinstatement of Bafa) can be done in such a short time," Lt Col Dr Bahrin said during the interview yesterday.
"This really came as a surprise because we have been trying for months to get everything back in order, but Fifa (the Federation Internationale de Football Association) will not recognise us. We will see how it goes this time around," continued the FFBD deputy secretary-general.
Sunday, January 3, 2010 THERE is light at the end of the tunnel for DPMM FC, after all. At least if the authorities can act fast enough to reinstate Bafa by Jan 7.
The team have said on their official website that "Brunei DPMM FC hope of good news in the coming 1-2 weeks" (sic) and yesterday revealed the good news to The Brunei Times.
"The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has offered us another chance of playing in the Singapore League (S-League) in the upcoming season," said Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin PSJ Pg Hj Abd Momin, the DPMM FC manager, in an interview yesterday.
"We have been given up to Jan 7 to come up with an answer, but we are hoping that the issue regarding Bafa can be resolved in time for us to play in the S-League again," added Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin.
The national football team and all club sides in the country cannot play in international competitions due to a global suspension slapped by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) on the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) in September.
On Sept 29 at its executive committee meeting in Rio de Janeiro football's governing body, Fifa, decided to ban Bafa for government interference in its affairs.
Fifa declared in a statement: "Bafa was suspended due to government interference in its affairs which started with a decision by the Brunei authorities to dissolve the Bafa and to replace it with a new association.
"The suspension applies with immediate effect and means that Brunei club DPMM FC will no longer be permitted to play in the Singapore League," football's governing body added in the statement.
"The suspension will run until Bafa is reinstated by the government."
DPMM FC through the FAS filed an appeal to reverse the ban saying that before the start of the league the FAS was officially informed by Fifa of its approval for DPMM FC to compete in the S-League for the entire 2009 season.
Fifa on Oct 16 rejected the appeal, but DPMM FC requested for the deadline for the ban to take effect to be extended to Oct 19. The FAS accepted the club's request, but nothing was done to reinstate Bafa in those three days and the decision remained.
The team manager is hopeful that they will be able to register for the S-League this year.
"We are still not sure if we will be able to register, but we just hope that the authorities can get things resolved within the time frame for us to play again," said Pg Hj Muhd Waslimin. (The new S-League season starts in February).
What better way to start the first week of the new year than to have Bruneians relate to that hugely popular "makan bola, tidur bola, minum Coca-Cola" (eat and sleep football, drink Coca-Cola) 2006 World Cup advertisement once again.
WHILE local football fans await the fate of DPMM FC, they at least have other teams to cheer on.
The DSTGroup Brunei Premier League I (BPL I) will continue next week with all 10 teams seeing action on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Second-placed AM Gunners will go up against Wijaya FC at the Berakas Sports Complex on Tuesday while Jerudong FC will take on AH United at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas at the same time.
The league's newcomers, who now have 28 points, are on a high coming off a 4-1 victory over Majra FC on Dec 21 while Wijaya FC are looking to bounce back having lost 1-0 to league leaders QAF FC on Dec 22.
Meanwhile, Jerudong FC, currently in fourth place with 21 points, are coming off a 1-1 draw against MS ABDB. They will face a difficult test against AH United, who are in good form having recorded comfortable wins in their last two matches, a 4-2 victory against Brunei Shell FT and 4-1 win against NBT FC.
On Wednesday, fans will have a selection of three matches to catch to satisfy their football hunger.
Defending champions and league leaders, QAF FC, who are four points clear at the top of the table, will go head to head against one of the basement dwellers, Brunei Shell FT, at the Berakas Sports Complex.
With only six games left in the BPL I, QAF FC are dreaming of a hat-trick of championships as they lead the table with 32 points after 12 matches.
Having had difficulty finding the back of the net lately, the league leaders would have to be more clinical if they want to lift the trophy for the third straight time this season.
The Royal Brunei Armed Forces' Sports Council (MS ABDB), currently in third, will take on Indera FC at the Penanjong Camp in Tutong while Majra FC and NBT FC will face off at the Balapan Track and Field.
QAF FC's arch-rivals, MS ABDB, are not in great form either. The army men tasted their first defeat of the season, a 2-1 loss to AM Gunners, on Dec 14 and followed that up with a 1-1 draw with Jerudong FC in their last game on Dec 22.
NBT FC, who are tied at the bottom of the BPL I table with Brunei Shell FT with five points, would need a victory against their opponents to have any chance of survival in the top flight.
Majra FC are also looking to bounce back after their loss to AM Gunners.
All matches will kick off at 8.15pm.The Brunei Times
"I wish to see DPMM FC back in action and hope the authorities will fix the problem to bring football back to the country. I miss watching their games at home at the national stadium," said Azie Ramlee, who works in the government sector.
Amal Majidah, 22, felt the same way towards the absence of international football in the country.
"For this upcoming 2010, I hope DPMM FC will be able to play again in the S League. Bring them back for the love of football in the country!" exclaimed Amal yesterday.