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Local refs head to AFC Cup in Indonesia

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam elite referee Abdul Hakim bin Mohd Haidi and elite assistant referee Faisal Ali have been appointed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to take part in officiating duties in the group stage of the AFC Cup in Denpasar, Indonesia starting June 24.

The internationally-certified match officials will join a team tasked to officiate Group ‘D’ matches featuring designated Indonesian hosts Bali United, Philippines’ Kaya-Iloilo, Malaysia’s Kedah Darul Aman and Cambodia’s Visakha FC.

The series of matches, which will be staged at Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Gianyar, will represent a further milestone in the duo’s refereeing career, continuing their progress in representing the country at the continental stage.

The Group ‘G’ games will commence on June 24 with Kaya-Iloilo taking on Visakha FC while Bali United will play against Kedah Darul Aman on the same day.

All teams – which will be eyeing a spot in the Asean Zone semi-finals – will return to action on June 27 before concluding their campaign on June 30.

Brunei Darussalam referees with local football officials at the Brunei International Airport. PHOTO: FABD

Abdul Hakim’s most recent appointment in a central role as a match referee was during an AFC Cup Group ‘G’ tie between Maziya and ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata, India on May 24.

The country’s leading officials had also taken part in officiating duties in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-23 Championship in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last February.

The duo made the breakthrough in the Asian club competition last June as Abdul Hakim was assigned as referee while Faisal served as the position of assistant referee during a Group ‘J’ match between Athletic 220 and Eastern at the Hong Kong Stadium in Hong Kong.

Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) Executive Committee members Pengiran Haji Aliudin bin Pengiran Haji Tajudin and Bujang bin Haji Japar and Brunei Darussalam Football Referee Association President Haji Hamidon bin Haji Mohd Zin sent the pair off at the airport.