03 January 2010

DPMM FC will return to Singapore League if ...

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.

The Brunei Times

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