13 December 2020

Four Brunei clubs get AFC Club Licensing approval

 BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (14 Dec 2020) – DPMM FC, Indera SC, Kasuka FC and Kota Ranger FC have obtained AFC Club Licensing status.

This means that the four clubs will be eligible to participate in competitions organised and sanctioned by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

“I hope that the clubs will run their administration and management professionally,” said Pengiran Matusin Pengiran Matasan, the President of the National FA of Brunei Darussalam.

“There has been a lot of knowledge-sharing from our consultants covering administration and management.”


Rajagobal heads to Brunei

 BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (1 Dec 2020) – Datuk K. Rajagobal has been appointed as the new head coach of Brunei Darussalam.

This was announced by Pengiran Matusin Pengiran Matasan, President of the National FA of Brunei Darussalam at a Press Conference yesterday.

“After several weeks of assessments, the Executive Committee of NFABD have decided to appoint Rajagobal from Malaysia as the new head coach of Brunei Darussalam for a period of two years,” said Pengiran Matusin.

“The decision was made following a series of dialogues where both the technical and financial aspects were taken into consideration.”

“It is hoped that Rajagobal will be able to bring the Brunei Darussalam national football team to a higher level.”

With the AFF Suzuki Cup just months away, Rajagobal’s immediate task would be to mould a credible team to carry Brunei’s challenge.


19 November 2020

NFABD moves forward with new name

 James Kon

The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) will be re-branded as Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FAB) along with a new logo, subject to an approval from the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

The NFABD will also proceed with FIFA-approved projects to build a Technical Centre and a mini grand stand, expected to be completed by July 2021.

These developments were announced during the NFABD 5th Congress at the Radisson Hotel in the capital yesterday.

The congress also discussed and approved the consolidated financial statements and statutory financial statements for 2019; the initial and revised budget for 2020 and proposed budget for 2021; the appointment of Deloitte & Touche as independent auditor for 2020-2023; the admission of new NFABD members: ALMEREZ Futsal Academy and Brunei Darussalam Association of Football Coaches (BDAFC); and proposed amendments to the NFABD Statutes, the Regulations Governing the Applications of the Statutes and the Standing Order of the Congress.

During the congress, On Hung Zheng was appointed as Chairman of Disciplinary Committee and Ahmad Basuni bin Haji Abbas as Chairman of Appeals Committee.

NFABD President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan led the congress, assisted by NFABD General Secretary Mohammad Shahnon bin Haji Mohd Salleh.

Also present was NFABD Deputy President Haji Salleh Bostaman bin Haji Zainal Abidin.

The NFABD 5th Congress was held physically and virtually, marking the first time the national football governing body has held such congress due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

FIFA representative Niko Nhouvannasak, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) representatives Nhodkeo Phawadee and Victoria Koh and ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) General Secretary Windston Lee also participated in the congress via video conference.

The next congress will be held on May 29, 2021.


27 October 2020

DPMM FC to sit out 2020 AIA SPL season

 SINGAPORE (27 Oct 2020) – Defending champions DPMM FC from Brunei will not participate in the remainder of the 2020 AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) season.

The FA of Singapore (FAS) resumed the SPL with safe management measures in place amid the COVID-19 situation, with the first games being played on 17 Oct 2020.

We have been informed recently by DPMM FC that they are unable to participate in their upcoming fixtures because there are currently no provisions in Brunei that allow them to travel to Singapore.

As it is important for the FAS to ensure that the 2020 SPL season can continue so that the League concludes in time in order for Singapore’s representatives for 2021’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) club competitions to be ascertained, the FAS will proceed with the rest of the 2020 SPL season without the defending champions.

FAS President Lim Kia Tong said: “It is extremely unfortunate that Brunei DPMM FC will not be able to join us for the resumption of the 2020 SPL campaign as I am certain SPL supporters and the other participating clubs are looking forward to see the reigning champions defend their title. However, we recognise that these are extraordinary circumstances, and the current situation leaves us with extremely limited options. Brunei DPMM FC has been a valued participant of the SPL for a better part of the decade and remains an integral part of our League. We look forward to welcoming them back next season.”

Commenting on the announcement by the FAS, Brunei DPMMFC General Manager Ali Haji Momin said: “We were looking forward to defending our title this season. However, despite our best efforts, the travel rules have meant that it is not possible for us to do so. We are tremendously grateful for the patience and kind understanding of the FAS over the last few weeks as we both sought for a solution to this matter. We wish the other eight teams the best of luck for the rest of this season, and hope to return for the 2021 season in full force.”

The sitting out of DPMM FC means that the result of the sole match they have already played – a 2-0 victory against Tampines Rovers at Bandar Seri Begawan on 6 March 2020 – will be voided.

It also means that there will be 37 matches left to be completed in the season by the end of this year.


21 October 2020

DPMM FC’s Hougang United match postponed

 Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC’s wait for their first league match since the opening game of the season in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) continues after their clash against Hougang United at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore this Sunday was postponed.

In a media statement, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said that it is still working with the club for their travel and logistical arrangements to Singapore.

The football governing body had proposed the Brunei-based outfit to be accommodated in Singapore and play their remaining matches there.

The Gegar Gegar men have also been scheduled to meet Lion City Sailors FC in an away game at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore on October 28.

The fixture list also sees a home match between DPMM FC and Geylang International FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on October 31.

Meanwhile, a number of DPMM FC players have returned to club training after a nine-day national call-up from October 5 to 13 in line with the FIFA calendar window.

The reigning holders have only played once this season during the 2-0 home win against Tampines Rovers FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium on March 6.

The league was suspended on March 24 due to the COVID-19 outbreak before it was resumed last weekend.

The season is on track to be completed before the end of the year based on the revised schedule.

This is not the first time that DPMM FC have been involved in a match postponement this season as their tie against Albirex Niigata (S) on March 14 was moved to another date.

All eight clubs based in Singapore returned to action last weekend since the seven-month suspension in line with strict match protocols as advised by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB), Ministry of Health, Sport Singapore (SportSG). Tampines Rovers FC lead the nine-team table with nine points followed by Albirex Niigata (S) in second place with eight points and Balestier Khalsa by virtue of goal difference. The league continues this Saturday with unbeaten Albirex Niigata (S) facing Lion City Sailors while Geylang International take on Balestier Khalsa.

Meanwhile, Tanjong Pagar and Young Lions will look to pick up their first win of the season when they play each other on Sunday.


14 October 2020

NFABD calls potential national players to attend training camp

 Fadhil Yunus

The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) has called up potential national players to attend a nine-day training camp in conjunction with the FIFA calendar window at the NFABD Football Field.

The second national call-up, which started on October 5 and set to conclude today, featured a host of DPMM FC regulars and returning players from the first call-up in September.

The DPMM FC players included goalkeeper Wardun bin Yusof, defenders Muhammad Wafi bin Aminuddin, Awangku Yura Indera Putera bin Pengiran Yunos, Helmi bin Zambin, Suhaimi anak Sulau, Muhammad Hanif Farhan bin Azman, midfielders Hendra Azam bin Mohd Idris, Mohammad Nurikhwan bin Othman, Azwan bin Salleh, Muhammad Azwan Ali bin Rahman, Shahrazen bin Said and forwards Mohd Najib bin Haji Tarif, Razimie bin Ramli, Abdul Azizi bin Ali Rahman and Hakeme Yazid bin Said.

MS PPDB goalkeeper Haimie anak Nyaring has also been called up with Pengiran Muhd Muizzudin bin Pengiran Ismail and Awangku Ashraf bin Pengiran Haledi completing the goalkeeping list.

The coaching staff also saw a new line-up led by head coach Aminuddin bin Jumat, accompanied by assistant coaches Atsushi Hanita and Haji Mohd Wardi bin Haji Masni.

Goalkeeping coach Awangku Omar Nur Aqammadin bin Pengiran Sallehuddin, fitness coach Haji Ameer Aziz Hakim bin Abdul Lani and strength coach Muhd Hadi Dinie bin Haji Abdul Rahman complete the list.

Head coach Aminuddin said, “We observe that the players gave a good response to us. We formed the training on what we need to fix and then the boys can incorporate well with the training.”

The players participated in fitness tests on Saturday to help the officials obtain data for future programmes.

He continued, “From the fitness test itself, the boys can give 100 per cent commitment and response to the drills.”

The head coach also shared that training focussed on improving the defensive aspect of the game.

“We need to analyse what is our football problem especially in our defending. From the beginning, we have planned our programmes and drills starting from one-on-one, two-on-two and come up with three-on-three and five-on-five.

“The purpose is to strengthen our defending side first and then we move to the attacking side.”

The major part of the training involved the technical aspect while the tactical part of the game has not been included as it will be done in stages.

“We want them to improve part by part. In this window, we get the opportunities to improve on the defending side first.”

Preparations have begun early to help the national team with their international commitments which is likely to be in 2021 following the postponement of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been moving forward and prepare them with ample time. We do not want to leave them with a short period of time, as it will make be hard for the players to adapt with our system.

“I believe these strategies and planning will help us develop and improve the players,” he said.

Goalkeeper Awangku Ashraf has another opportunity to train with the national team again following up his first call-up in September.

“We didn’t bring him for the World Cup qualifiers (against Mongolia) but now we bring him to expose him. Hopefully, he can commit with our system so that he can gain some experience and football knowledge from this training.

“There are opportunities for other players too. The most important things are commitment and responsibility since we represent the national team.”

The head coach added that the squad featured a mix of youth and experienced players, to provide balance in the team.

The youngest player in the team Hakeme Yazid, 17, is one of the several players that made the jump from the under-23 side to the senior team training.

Aminuddin also thanked clubs for releasing their players and hopes that the teamwork between players, clubs and the Football Association (FA) will help improve the national team.


10 October 2020

2020 AIA Singapore Premier League season to resume on 17 October 2020


The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) welcomes the announcement made today by Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) on the approval to resume the Singapore Premier League (SPL) from 17 October 2020. The current 2020 AIA SPL season has been on enforced hiatus since the suspension on 24 March due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent safe management measures.

On the subject of reigning SPL champions Brunei DPMM’s participation status for this season, Mr Lim said: “Brunei DPMM FC has been an integral part of our League for years and their continued participation on its resumption is very much treasured. Currently, they are a part of the competition format on resumption. We have provided Brunei DPMM FC with an option of having their matches played in Singapore considering the recommended protocols. We await their response by Monday 12 October after which we will make the necessary preparations for the resumption. We remain hopeful that they will provide a favourable reply to our proposal.”


All positives for Clough in debut season with DPMM FC

 Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC’s foreign import player Charlie Clough has enjoyed his debut season with the club after winning the Singapore Premier League (SPL) title last season.

Clough entered the club’s history books after becoming the first club’s Englishman to earn a SPL’s medal.

“It was the first winners’ medal of my career and lifting the trophy at our home ground in front of 20,000 fans was the best feeling ever,” he said.

The 30-year-old played an instrumental role in DPMM FC’s title triumph last year at the heart of defence. He opened the scoring in the 2-0 victory against title contenders Tampines Rovers FC during their only appearance this year.

The SPL is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Taunton-born Englishman is enjoying his time in the Sultanate as he entered his second year since making the switch from Europe to Southeast Asia.

“The weather is always hot and Brunei is very peaceful. It is a very religious Muslim country so everyone is nice and respectful,” Clough said in an interview with Gloucestershire Live recently.

“The place is so clean and tidy and they look after their people here, so everyone is happy. The lifestyle beats living in the UK (United Kingdom) hands down,” he added.

He said football takes most of his time with training taking up double sessions on some days.

The former Barnet man has been impressed with the technical ability of his teammates although he admitted the football physicality is lesser compared to England.

“I’ve had to adapt to the style that is played here and players are not as physical as in the UK, but technically they are very good and sharp,” said the centre-back, who was also named in the SPL Team of the Year last season.

Like the rest of the DPMM FC squad, Clough has been training on building his fitness levels before being allowed to use balls in line with the revised guidelines relating to team sports.

Charlie also expressed his hopes of signing a new contract for the 2021 season amid the club’s wait to resume their competitive action.

“I know they really like me here as a character so fingers crossed I can get that over the line.”


21 September 2020

Brunei Super League 2020 called off

 BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (21 Sept 2020) – The National FA of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) have decided the cancel the Brunei Super League 2020 (BSL).

The league was suspended after just two matches into the new season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made by the NFABD Competition Standing Committee, who also announced that the Under-16 and Under-19 tournaments have also been cancelled.

“Competitions are slated to run in mid-November and hopefully will finish by the second week of December with the possibility of converting the NFABD artificial field to a competition venue,” the press release added.


12 September 2020

AFC Solidarity Cup 2020 cancelled

 Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam’s national football team and their nearest continental rivals in the world rankings will not compete in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Solidarity Cup 2020 after the AFC announced the cancellation of the tournament recently.

It was scheduled to be held on November 30 until December 13.

The next instalment of the competition will be in 2024 with the participating teams only likely to be determined once the AFC first round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers reaches its conclusion, subject to any changes of eligibility.

The tournament serves as a platform for countries that have little opportunities to organise international friendly matches.

“These are tough times for everyone connected with football – and sport in general. We are taking steps to ensure the financial well-being of the AFC and its MAs (member associations),” said AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.

Brunei was considered to be one of the original members in the inaugural edition of the tournament in Kuching, Malaysia in 2016.

The tournament, which replaced the AFC Challenge Cup, has since been expanded to 10 teams.

The national team gained entry in the second edition as one of the losers of the AFC First Round of the 2022 World Cup qualification.

The Wasps missed out on a place in the second round of the qualifying phase following a 3-2 aggregate defeat against Mongolia in June last year.

Qualified teams included Timor Leste, Laos, Pakistan, Macau and Bhutan. Pakistan and Bhutan would have made their debut in the 10-member tournament.

The remaining four slots had been reserved for teams who are knocked out in the AFC Playoff Round 2.

After suffering penalty heartbreak against Macau in the semi-finals, Brunei ended the 2016 tournament in fourth place following a 3-2 play-off defeat against Laos.

The country did not leave empty-handed, however, as national striker Shahrazen Said bagged the top scorer award after scoring four goals in the tournament.

The AFC has also announced that the AFC Under-16 and Under-19 Championships in Bahrain and Uzbekistan respectively have been postponed until early 2021.

The Brunei under-16 and under-19 teams attempted to qualify in the continental meet through the respective qualification tournaments in Indonesia and Cambodia last year.


05 September 2020

Training camp for Brunei National Team

 The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) has begun assembling a national team with a 5 days training camp commencing at its home-ground in Berakas last night.

The camp, which was facilitated by a team of coaches helmed by Interim Head Coach Muhammad Ali Mustafa included a list of potential players who have previously made names in their respective Brunei Super League (BSL) clubs and some with international experiences.
There will be continuous training camp sessions held accordingly and in line with FIFA calendar come October and November with some potential sparring matches.
NFABD also intended to appoint a permanent senior national head coach, whose main task is to ensure the national team will pass through the group stage in the AFF Suzuki Cup next year.

14 July 2020

DPMM FC coach heaps praise on Brunei’s handling of COVID-19

by Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC Head Coach Adrian Pennock heaped praise on the authorities’ handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Brunei Darussalam.
“I think a lot of credit had got to go with the Minister of Health. He has done a fantastic job by keeping the virus at bay,” said Pennock during an interview with the Bulletin after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.
He added, “We respect the Minister of Health and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports’ decision because they’ve been right from day one. They’ve been very good.”
The club entered a fifth week since they resumed training but without the use of the ball in line with existing guidelines from the authorities.
“This is our fifth week now. The first couple of weeks were just like a pre-season. We’ve been doing like pre-season but with no footballs.”
The Gegar Gegar men have also followed the guideline on team sports whereby a limit of five players in a group has been capped.
Training has been identical with pre-season activities such as hill runs, trek walking, gym work and now swimming – which has been allowed recently – with social distancing in place.
Pennock is also effusive in his praise of his charges as the players returned to a form of training.
“The boys have been fantastic and they have been unbelievable. I love every single player because they worked so hard.”
With the squad comprising 22 players, improvised training arrangements saw limited numbers on the field with several groups being formed.
“We respect what the Minister of Health said about social distancing. We just do everything by the book and respect everybody’s decision.
“We want to get back to playing football but the health and safety of everybody connected to this country is more important.”
The Ipswich-born shared the first couple of weeks have been about “putting in a lot of mileage in the legs by doing a lot more long-distance running”.
“After the third or fourth week, we have been doing a lot sharper,” said Pennock as they shifted from merely running on a straight line.
Pennock also praised Fitness Coach Jason Moriarty, who joined the club in pre-season ahead of the currently-suspended Singapore Premier League (SPL).
“Jason Moriarty has been fantastic. Obviously it’s difficult for him and me not having any balls to work with. Jason has been first-class as well as all the staff here.”
He also spoke highly of Goalkeeping Coach Jorgeiraa who has found ways to train the goalkeepers without the use of the ball.
“Jorgeiraa has been having the goalkeepers once or twice a week where he pretended to have a ball and use a training disc as an example.”

06 June 2020

Paul Smalley ends stint as Brunei’s head coach

by Fadhil Yunus
The National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) and Brunei Darussalam’s head coach Paul Smalley have agreed to part ways by mutual consent, with the Englishman ending a six-month stint at the national governing body.
Smalley’s sudden departure came amid the uncertainties brought about by impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which effectively resulted in all football-related activities nationwide coming to a standstill.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Federation even though it has been for a short period and the challenges with COVID-19. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the President, General Secretary, my colleagues in NFABD especially the Technical Development Department, as well as the coaches and staff at all levels who have supported me so well,” he said.
Smalley, who also served as the Head of Player and Coach Development, has contributed to the development of the country’s football by providing knowledge to the local coaches through his expertise in coaching education as well as assisting them get their coaching badges.
He played an instrumental role in leading the National Programme for Coaching and Education and Learning of Coaches in Brunei for 2020.
The former technical and strategic director of the Bangladesh Football Federation has guided local coaches in line with NFABD’s vision to provide aspiring coaches with training, support and guidance to succeed in both club and international coaching at the highest level.
During his tenure, Paul Smalley conducted two coaching refresher courses participated by 43 qualified coaches who met the required revalidation requirements to keep their accreditation valid and current.
He also conducted two ‘C’ Coaching Certificate courses, one ‘B’ Coaching Certificate course, one ‘A’ Coaching Certificate course and one Coach Educator course, which brought NFABD to achieve AFC Coaching Convention B Diploma status.
President of NFABD Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan said, “On behalf of NFABD, we thank Paul for his high standard of professionalism. NFABD appreciates his contribution.
“It is most unfortunate that there are uncertainties and unprecedented anxieties brought about by COVID-19. NFABD wishes Paul Smalley well in his future undertakings.”
Smalley was formally announced as the new national head coach for Brunei Darussalam last November. He has not had the opportunity to take charge of the national team in any international match as there had been no exhibition or competitive matches since his appointment.

08 May 2020

NFABD sets up workout drills for players

Fadhil Yunus
With the football season on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) through its Technical Development Department prepared visual material on training drills to guide all football players for their individual workouts.
As all group training sessions are currently suspended in line with the government’s measure to curb the spread of the pandemic, players have to train on their own to keep their fitness levels high.
The national football governing body in a statement said, “Maintaining top-level fitness and skills is crucial for our football players. You can’t expect to win your games if you can’t perform well.”
The five-minute instructional video shows a series of football routines as well as warm-ups and exercises designed to help players build momentum throughout Ramadhan and until the country is officially COVID-19 free.
Some of the routines include repetitive motions of the sole roll and the outside foot roll for both feet, a 60-second no-touch stepovers and Brazilian taps as well as single leg V drags and V drag exchange.
The individual workout will help players develop their dribbling and ball control as well as balance and coordination.
For a longer routine, players may also perform variations of the dynamic ball mastery which encourage them to work on their touches.
Using football cones, players can also improve their dribbling skills, while one-touch passing and receiving the ball is also known to be a popular football drill. After ball work, players may focus on working on their upper body strength through push-ups and lower body strength through squats as well as a core exercise through planking.
NFABD have been advocating the stay-at-home initiative in support of the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and FIFA as the global football community join forces to combat the spread of the pandemic.
Last month, President of NFABD Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan lauded the BreakTheChain video campaign, which was launched by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The video, which involved iconic Asian football stars, raised awareness to combat the spread of the pandemic and served to convey their gratitude to the frontliners.

11 April 2020

Tabuan look to add experience in Super League

Fadhil Yunus
Brunei Darussalam’s national development team Tabuan have returned to the Brunei Super League (BSL) this season looking to add experience in their bags.
After a year-long absence, the NFABD Under-16 Youth League champions recorded their first win in the BSL over Panchor Murai FC 2-1 at the Tutong Sports Complex last month before the COVID-19-enforced break.
As part of the league’s expansion with 16 teams taking part, Tabuan made their return to the top flight since the 2017-2018 season, when they finished in sixth place.
The national development team head coach Haji Omar bin Jamil hopes their participation in Brunei’s top tier will help them ready for future international matches.
Tabuan’s Technical Advisor Izzat bin Omar, during a pre-season press conference in January said, “It is a good opportunity and platform for us to play at a high level against the senior players. The boys are looking forward in the tournament as this will help their preparation in the international events.
He added, “Everyone will have the exposure to develop in this tournament. The boys can also learn from all the other teams.”
In their first match last month, Tabuan left it fashionably late after Panchor Murai had threatened to come away with all three points.
Sharul bin Haji Sabtu gave Panchor Murai the lead two minutes before half-time as his side looked on course for victory until Tabuan provided a late response.
Tabuan marksman Syaherrul Affendy bin Syahmirul Nizam continued his ruthless streak from the youth league last season after stabbing home the equaliser in the 80th minute. They found the winner through Mohd Irfan Roshidi deep into stoppage time.
Arguably a team with the youngest average age, the national development team also has a quartet of 15-year-olds in their ranks namely Hafy Herman, Malik Norazlan, Hazwan Hasmi and Md Syafiq bin Shahrin.
Meanwhile, BSRC are also making their return to the top flight. In recent seasons, the Belait-based side were among the teams challenging for promotion in the Brunei Premier League, the second tier of Brunei football.
BSRC have had a mixed start so far this campaign in their opening two fixtures after a 3-1 win over Bakes FC followed with a 2-3 loss to KB FC in the Belait District Derby.
The Brunei Super League has been suspended since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

27 March 2020

Indera SC’s ACC debut deferred to 2021

Fadhil Yunus
Indera SC will not make their maiden appearance in the inaugural ASEAN Club Championship (ACC) in the coming months following the recent announcement that the regional competition had been re-scheduled to next year amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Brunei Super League outfit were due to represent the country in the club football competition, which will involve 10 match days spread over five months in the regional schedule.
The remaining clubs that were scheduled to take part are Thailand teams Chiangrai United and Prachuap, Vietnamese teams Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, Indonesian teams Bali United and Persebaya, Singapore’s Tampines Rovers, Myanmar’s Shan United, Philippines’ Ceres-Negros, Cambodia’s Svay Rieng and Laos’ Lao Toyota.
Indera’s participation in the regional scene was made possible after meeting Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Club Licensing requirements, which allowed them entry in the AFC Cup earlier this year.
The Brunei-based outfit were drawn in the playoff stage alongside Ceres-Negros, Svay Rieng and Lao Toyota where they will try to secure a berth in the group stage.
The national leagues under the purview of the AFF member nations have already been suspended with the Singapore Premier League the latest to make the move in line with the updated guideline set by the country’s COVID-19 multi-ministry task force.
“With the ASEAN Club Championship been slotted into 10 match days over five months in the regional schedule, it’s now clear that with the prevailing conditions and the pending rescheduling of many AFF national leagues and AFC competitions, yet to be decided, that there will not be sufficient time to complete the inaugural championship this year. All members can now plan for the launch in 2021,” the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) said.
AFF President Major General Khiev Sameth said, “These are unprecedented times for the whole world, including our football family and communities, but we will get through it together. However, getting through this will require all of us to play our part.”
The president added with the high risk of transmission of the disease at mass gatherings, they have made the decision to delay and whenever necessary to cancel the competitions.
The AFF has also confirmed that tournaments sanctioned under them including the under-16 and under-19 championships both in Indonesia which Brunei are also expected to feature, will be postponed until later this year.
Meanwhile, the two competitions that have seen involvement by the Brunei national futsal team and a local futsal club in recent years – the AFF Futsal Championship and the AFF Futsal Club Championship – will go ahead as planned.

08 March 2020

DPMM FC register perfect start in title defence

By Fadhil Yunus
DPMM FC rose up to the challenge against their well-recruited rivals and title contenders after masterminding a superb 2-0 win over Tampines Rovers in the Singapore Premier League at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last night.
A goal each from Charlie Clough and Andrei Varankou in either side of the half gave the home side a much-needed lift in their league opener after a delayed start to the season.
The club’s young player Hanif Farhan Azman’s meteoric rise from the team that featured in the Brunei second tier last year was confirmed after he was handed his debut in the heart of midfield alongside new foreign import goalkeeper Emerson.
The visitors found the gap in between the defence with influential winger Jordan Webb racing into the box but Emerson foiled his attempt with a smart save.
Tampines’ forward Zehrudin Mehmedovic proved a tricky customer as he produced a delightful ball into the path of Boris Kopitovic who managed to get his shot only into the arms of Emerson.
The hosts took the lead after Charlie Clough planted a looping header beyond the Tampines goalkeeper Syazwan Buhari after Hendra Azam Idris had floated in an excellent delivery from a set-piece.
Varankou managed to keep down a lofted ball but Tampines defender Shannon Stephen put his body on the line to prevent him from taking a shot before the former picked out to Abdul Azizi Ali Rahman, who was denied by good goalkeeping from Syazwan.
Tampines forward Kopitovic forced another fierce strike on target from a tight angle following good work in the middle of the park from Mehmedovic.
The visitors made a response to falling behind with a double substitution as head coach Gavin Lee introduced attacking-minded duo Kyoga Nakamura and Taufik Suparno into the fray.
DPMM FC dead ball specialist Hendra produced a teasing cross into the box but tight marking from a Tampines defender ensured that Varankou could not get his header cleanly. The visitors were robbed off possession after a misplaced pass as Abdul Azizi’s attempt took a deflection for a corner with Hendra again central to the threat.
From the ensuing corner, Charlie Clough’s header across the box was nearly guided into the roof of the net from a Tampines player but only the crossbar saved them from an own goal.
The Gegar Gegar men wrapped up victory with a potential Singapore Premier League classic four minutes from time after Varankou outplayed the visiting defence through a moment of individual brilliance before following up with a low finish past the goalkeeper.

23 February 2020

Brunei DPMM will not play in Community Shield due to its 'travel restrictions' over COVID-19: FAS

SINGAPORE: Defending champions Brunei DPMM will not participate in the curtain-raiser for the upcoming Singapore Premier League (SPL) season due to "precautionary travel restrictions" by the club, said the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on Monday (Feb 17).
"The FAS has been notified by Brunei DPMM FC of its precautionary travel restrictions in light of the current COVID-19 situation," said the association in response to queries from CNA.
"As such DPMM will not be able to play Tampines Rovers FC at this weekend’s Community Shield match. The FAS is reviewing all options and more information will be shared shortly."
The AIA Community Shield match between Brunei DPMM and Tampines Rovers was originally slated to be held on Saturday at the Jalan Besar stadium.
DPMM have won the league twice, finishing as runners-up on two occasions.
Last week, the FAS had announced that the upcoming SPL season will proceed as planned, with measures such temperature screening to be carried out at entry points to stadiums.
These measures are being introduced in light of the "rapidly evolving situation" due to COVID-19, said the FAS. It has since established a task force to determine the protocols and advisories for its activities amid this outbreak. 
As part of the FAS DORSCON protocol for level Orange, mass events of 300 people or more - such as SPL matches - will continue, with measures in place such as temperature screening at entry points of venue. 
Any fan who displays symptoms of respiratory illness such as flu, cough or shortness of breath will be denied entry to the stadium, said FAS. Entry will also be denied to any fan with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher.
In addition, all carnival activities, festivals and non-essential football events will be cancelled, said FAS. There is also the possibility that matches may be played behind closed doors.

Brunei DPMM FC unveil squad for new SPL season

James Kon
Singapore Premier League (SPL) defending champions Brunei DPMM FC unveiled their squad, ahead of the new season at the end of this month, at The Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong yesterday.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin was the guest of honour.
The 22-man squad have seen a boost with the arrival of Brazilian goalkeeper Emerson and local young players Muhammad Hanif Farhan bin Azman and Azriel bin Arman.
Returning to the squad for another season are defender Charlie Clough and last season’s top scorer Andrei Varankou. Central midfielder Blake Ricciuto has left the club.
Completing the DPMM FC squad are Muhammad Wafi bin Aminuddin, Abdul Muiz bin Sisa, Azwan bin Muhamad Saleh, Muhd Azwan bin Ali Rahman, Mohd Hendra Azam bin Mohd Idris, Abdul Azizi bin Ali Rahman, Mohammad Najib bin Haji Tarif, Suhaimi anak Sulau, Mohammad Helmi bin Zambin, Hazwan bin Hamzah, Muhammad Hakeme Yazid bin Said, Razimie bin Ramlli, Md Nur Ikhwan bin Othman, Abdul Aziz bin Tamit, Mohammad Shah Razen bin Said, Awangku Yura Indera Putera bin Pengiran Yunus and Md Wardun bin Yussof.
Brunei DPMM FC unveiled their home and away jerseys for the Singapore Premier League 2020 season during the signing ceremony for players and sponsors at The Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong yesterday. Photo shows DPMM FC players Wafi Aminuddin and Azizi Ali Rahman wearing the home kit while Nurikhwan Othman and Azwan Ali Rahman donning the away kit. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI
Brunei DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock (above)
Head coach Adrian Pennock said it will be an uphill battle for his team to defend the title as a new SPL rule states that Singaporean teams can sign four import players, giving a one player advantage over other foreign teams in the league.
However, the head coach looked on the positive side and focussed on nurturing Brunei talent in competing at a high level.
“This season would be more of a development season where I want to bring more young players under the club. This pre-season, we have three young players and we want to nurture them during the whole season for the future of DPMM FC.”
In the pre-season games in Cambodia, he commended the players’ attitude were great. “The squad works very hard and with less than two weeks to start the league, we are really looking forward to it.”
Talented forward Adi Said has left DPMM FC to join Kota Ranger FC, who are competing in the Brunei Super League. “He left the club on his own decision. He has been a great player for the club,” Pennock said.
Veteran goalkeeper Md Wardun Yussof is also expected to leave the club by the end of 2020 season, which prompted the club to find a suitable replacement.
“What a fantastic career that he has for DPMM FC. We got a young goalkeeper in Azriel and import Emerson … it would be a very healthy competition among them at the club.”
Meanwhile, the club has appointed a new fitness coach, Jason Moriarty. On the team’s fitness, he said, “The team will continue to improve their fitness as the season moves on.”
The players will undergo a fitness test as required by SPL tomorrow.
“I am confident the players will complete and pass the test. The work in pre-season is enough to bring the expected results,” Moriarty said.
Moriarty has 11 years experience with EFL League One side AFC Wimbledon before arriving at Brunei DPMM FC.