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Brunei parts ways with head coach Rajagobal

Fadhil Yunus

The Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) and national head coach Datuk K Rajagobal have mutually agreed to part ways by the end of January.

“This is a difficult decision for FABD as the national head coach has served with distinction since February last year,” the national football governing body said in a statement yesterday.

“The prevalent situation with the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for both parties to execute his functions effectively.

“In recognising his contribution, FABD expressed gratitude for his short but impactful service and is sad to see him leave in an untimely manner.”

Datuk K Rajagobal was named as the new national head coach of the Brunei national team in December 2020 amid the country’s ambitions to pursue qualification for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup group stage.

The AFF winning coach oversaw training sessions after meeting up with the national team players for the first time in early 2021.

He was officially appointed as the national head coach following a signing ceremony for the official appointment on February 2021.

The Malaysian’s arrival had been hoped to enhance the national team’s opportunities to gain qualification to the regional AFF meet, among others, as well as taking the team to a higher level.

In September last year, the FABD agreed to let Rajagobal return to his native Malaysia amid the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the Sultanate.

His untimely departure was similar to the previous national head coach Paul Smalley, who left under similar circumstances in May 2020 amid the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Datuk K Rajagobal. PHOTO: AFC