24 April 2016

NFABD, FAM to discuss possible M-League return

Thursday, April 21, 2016
THE National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) hope that this week’s working visit to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) will be the start of Brunei’s return to Malaysia’s football leagues.
The sultanate has a rich history of involvement in Malaysian football, culminating in Brunei’s 1999 Malaysia Cup win – long seen as one of the country’s most important achievements in the sport.
However, a Brunei representative – including DPMM FC – has not competed in Malaysia since the 2007/08 season, when DPMM FC finished 10th in the 13-team Malaysian Super League after a third-place finish the season before.
Speaking to media prior to their departure for Kuala Lumpur yesterday, NFABD acting deputy president Hj Madli Mohamad Yusuf confirmed that Brunei’s possible reintroduction in Malaysia football will be on the agenda.
“We chose FAM as the destination for our visit because as we all know, Brunei and Malaysia have cooperated in the sport for a very long time,” said Hj Madli, who is leading the 11-man delegation.
“Brunei used to play in the Malaysian League and Cup and we also used to play in the Borneo Cup in the 1970s to 1980s… So we are hoping we can meet with FAM and plan for clubs from Brunei to compete in Malaysia again.
“Malaysia are one of the strongest teams in the region and they have a number of football clubs that have competed in prestigious tournaments, so I hope we all can learn from them and help our local clubs to administer and manage themselves in the right way,” he added at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas.
Brunei’s involvement in Malaysian football started in 1989 when it entered the M-League, which was then known as the Semi-Pro League.
The possibility of a Bruneian team playing in the M-League again is not a new one.
Speaking to Malaysian news agency Bernama in January 2012, Malaysia’s former Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said that FAM and NFABD could create a mechanism towards Brunei’s participation in the M-League.
When contacted by The Brunei Times then, FAM’s competitions committee chairman Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin - who is the current secretary general - did not rule the idea out.
“I saw the reports... Discussions might be going on,” Datuk Hamidin said.
“I think anything is possible. Definitely,” he said, adding that Brunei must follow the necessary procedures to gain entry into the league.
Among the other objectives of NFABD’s visit to FAM this week are to strengthen relations between the two associations and examine and study the operations of FAM.
NFABD also aims to exchange ideas and introduce their newly appointed executive committee members.
“The main objectives are to organise discussions as well as to promote relationships between the two associations,” said Hj Madli.
“And while we are there, we hope to exchange information and share experiences in the area of management and administration.
InsyaAllah, with this visit we are also planning a future collaboration in terms of organising a study or course concerning the management of human resources, clubs, players, and facilities in the future.”

The Brunei Times

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