21 October 2012

Controversy at the AFF Suzuki Cup

Sunday, October 21, 2012
THE ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2012 Qualifiers maybe over but there is still plenty of buzz surrounding the Oct 5-13 event with allegations surfacing on the net of match fixing for the last day of matches.

Myanmar and Laos played out to a 0-0 draw last Saturday. The result left Brunei with no chance of qualifying for the tournament proper to be held from Nov 24 - Dec 22. It also meant that Timor Leste needed at least a draw to qualify.

Brunei, however, defied the odds to put up a remarkable performance to stun the latter 2-1 to put both Myanmar and Laos through.

Two documents can be found on the net and it has gathered large interest but there is no authenticity to the rumours.

The first was a letter surfacing on Thursday claiming to be from a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent stating that the Laos Football Federation and Myanmar Football Federation had bribed the respective referees for the matches.

Yesterday saw another fax emerge claiming to be from FIFA in regards to the corresponding letter.

The letter states that " ... both teams, Laos and Myanmar, are disqualified from the tournament and will be banned from taking the next qualification round of ASEAN Football Championship. Brunei and Timor Leste are promoted to the proper group stage of the tournament ... the six referees will terminate refereeing from FIFA and a fine imposed on them ... "

One key note about the letter and fax is that both were written poorly.

The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) declined to comment but told The Brunei Times that they are currently looking into the matter.

Myanmar ended the qualifiers at the top of the five-team table and will be in Group A with Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Laos, the runners-up, and will be in Group B with Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

The Brunei Times


  1. Rumours said the letters were fake. *sigh* every good news there's always bad news. Furthermore the fixtures for AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 has been set with Laos & Myanmar still in it.

  2. Disappointed over outcome of SUKMA, what ails Brunei football?

    As a Bruneian football supporter, I was really disappointed with our football team's result at SUKMA recently.

    It doesn't make sense that our HBT team could beat teams from Asean countries during the HBT tournament, but failed to beat some Malaysian state teams during SUKMA.

    It is really sad to see the champion of Asean U-21 at the bottom of group C in SUKMA. Did this show that the Brunei team was lacking in proper planning and preparations?

    From what I've read in the newspaper, the SUKMA team was only formed a month before the games and the Brunei team only started preparations before leaving for SUKMA with a friendly match against Sabah.

    The same goes to our National Team in the qualifying round for the AFF Suzuki Cup.

    As we know, our only preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying round were a couple friendly matches against a Malaysian club and our only international certified FIFA friendly match was against Indonesia.

    As compared to other Asean countries, our preparations were too late.

    Our National Team for Suzuki Cup qualifying round was only formed one month before the qualifying round. In my opinion, if we can form a team earlier after the HBT tournament, then hold at least five to six international certified FIFA friendlies and overseas centralised training. We can then progress to the biennial tournament.

    There is much potential in our players but because of lack international experience and improper planning, we fail to qualify just like what our National coach says, "There was no ball pressure, our players were not moving enough, lack of concentration, no control or focus, and no cover play".

    These problems should be solved before the qualifying match through proper planning.

    The selection of players for all our National teams including our U23, U21, U19, U17 should be finalised immediately so that they can start to train together to achieve one objective, that is to qualify for some of the regional and other prestigious tournaments.

    So please no more last minute player selection trials and team formation. We don't want to hear the same old excuses.

    Finally, we hope NFABD can provide time for preparations and make proper planning for all our National Teams in terms of exposure, friendly matches and overseas centralised training. Our doa is always with the Brunei football team for their success. Brunei Yakin!