BPL teams disappointed

Adi Hj Md Said of Majra FC celebrates winning the DST Group Brunei League Cup recently. Majra are the only team to have won anything all season. Picture: BT

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

IT IS A hard pill to swallow.

The Football Federation of Brunei Darussalam (FFBD) yesterday announced it has decided in principle not to proceed with the remaining DST Group Brunei League and DST Group Brunei FA Cup matches, a move which has come as somewhat of a surprise to football stakeholders.

The decision was made in light of a Press statement issued by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) last week, which citing Article 13 of the Fifa Statute, warned of international sanctions for the country if FFBD-organised tournaments were not ended by July 27.

The second half of the nine-team DST Group BPL I season has yet to start while the 10-side BPL II campaign is only five games in.

The most to lose from FFBD's decision is DST Group BPL I leaders the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB).

"It's a disappointment for the players to be six points clear at the top with a superior goal difference and looking comfortable as well," said MS ABDB coach Steve Rule.

"They are not training now and have returned to their units. Maybe there's a silver lining to this in a funny kind of way because they can concentrate on their career development now.

"The team will regroup whenever the league starts again and when that happens we will just have to go out, do it all over again and rise to the challenge," added Rule, whose team are undefeated in the league and have picked up 22 points from eight games.

Second in the league are AM Gunners FC, whose manager shared Rule's sentiments.

"It's very disappointing that these two associations can't work things out," said Hj Ahmad Hj Husin.

"The league has been good and if you look at it a lot of young talent has been coming out and they are the future of Brunei football," added the manager.

The only team who have won anything all season, the DST Group Brunei League Cup earlier this month, Majra FC are still basking in the glory of their first trophy since they were founded in 2003.

Though they said they were alright with the decision, Majra who lie third with 14 points are already looking to the future.

"We understand and accept the ruling and we just want to say thank you to FFBD for organising the league over the past two and a half years," said Hj Mahaddi Hj Mat Zain during an interview.

"Without them we would never have tasted success and see our young players develop.

"To NFABD, they have to fulfill their responsibility and prove themselves by organising a league as soon as possible," he added.The Brunei Times