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.