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Brunei officials set for refereeing duty in AFC Cup

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam elite referee Abdul Hakim bin Mohd Haidi and elite assistant referee Faisal Ali departed for Kolkata, India on Friday for officiating duties in the group stage (South Zone) of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2022.

The group games of the continent’s second tier club competition, which is based at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, will be played from May 18 to 24.

The country’s leading officials were chosen as part of an internationally diverse refereeing team in their most significant appointment yet, continuing their progress in representing the country in the international stage.

Both Abdul Hakim and Faisal will be in contention to serve key positions in matches involving Indian clubs Gokulam Kerala and ATK Mohun Bagan as well as Bangladeshi outfit Bashundhara Kings and Maldivian-based club Maziya.

The internationally-certified pair, recognised by both AFC and FIFA, received their appointments at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-23 Championship in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last February.

Abdul Hakim bin Mohd Haidi and Faisal Ali, with Pengiran Haji Aliudin bin Pengiran Haji Tajudin, Bujang bin Haji Japar and Haji Adee Suhardee bin Haji Muhidin in a group photo. PHOTO: FABD

In June last year, the duo made a breakthrough at the continental meet following their appointment in the AFC Cup group stage as Abdul Hakim was assigned as the referee while Faisal served the position of assistant referee.

Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) Executive Committee members Pengiran Haji Aliudin bin Pengiran Haji Tajudin, Bujang bin Haji Japar and Haji Adee Suhardee bin Haji Muhidin bade farewell to the two officials at the Brunei International Airport.

The Group ‘D’ fixtures in the AFC Cup will commence on May 18 with Gokulam Kerala taking on ATK Mohun Bagan while Bashundhara will face Maziya in a later kick-off.

Meanwhile, the heavily-interrupted Brunei Futsal League 2021 (BFL 2021) has been abandoned due to the inability to host the remaining matches as a result of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the suspension of matches caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, Kota Ranger and MS ABDB had led their groups with 15 and 18 points.

The league, which made a return last June following a four-year hiatus, featured a total of 16 teams split into two groups.

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