Brunei Darussalam will host a series of international friendly matches to kick-start football activities following a lengthy absence owed to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) yesterday.
The series of international matches will begin with the national under-20 team playing against the Sarawak under-20 team, while the national ‘A’ team are expected to play friendly matches against Laos and Maldives next month.
The match between Brunei and Sarawak under-20 teams will be held at the FABD Artificial Football Field on August 28 at 4pm.
Meanwhile, the venue for the international matches involving the senior national team is yet to be confirmed amid the need to accommodate a larger attendance.
FABD President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Haji Matasan said, “After almost three years, FABD has not seen any international football match in Brunei Darussalam.
Alhamdulillah, the under-20 team and the ‘A’ team will play against teams that have been invited to compete in the Sultanate.”
Meanwhile, FABD Deputy President Haji Salleh Bostaman bin Haji Zainal Abidin expressed gratitude to be able to invite international teams for friendly matches.
“This is to provide the opportunity not only for the residents of Brunei but football fans to witness international matches that could not be viewed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The Sarawak under-20 team are preparing for the Malaysian Games (SUKMA), the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) said.
It will be the first international match that will be staged at the FABD Artificial Football Field, which has been certified to host international friendly matches despite housing a limited capacity for spectators.
Haji Salleh Bostaman also shared that there will be Tier 1 matches – a senior international game recognised by the International Federation and Association Football (FIFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) which could alter the ranking of Brunei Darussalam’s national team.
“Insya Allah, the three games with Laos and Maldives will be held in Brunei starting September 21,” he said.
“We cannot confirm the location yet but we will obtain approval from the authorities. Insya Allah, we will find a bigger venue to accommodate more fans.
“We (FABD) are excited to bring the four international matches into the country, for football fans.”
The national ‘A’ team have been scheduled to meet Maldives on September 21 and Laos on September 27.