Seven nations set for HBT tournament

|     Fadhil Yunus     |

BRUNEI Darussalam through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports with the cooperation of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) will host the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) for Asean Youth Football Tournament 2018 beginning April 23.

The youth-level tournament marked the sixth time it will be held following editions in 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2014.

The invited teams are from Asean member countries as well as Timor-Leste and this year the tournament will feature seven teams – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Brunei Darussalam as host nation.

This was highlighted in a statement delivered by Haji Amer Hamzah bin Pehin Orang Kaya Amar Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Zakaria, Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in his capacity as the Assistant Co-Chair during a press conference at the At-Taufik Meeting Room of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports yesterday.

The main venues that will be used are the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium and the Belapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex.

The opening ceremony for the HBT for Asean Youth Football Tournament 2018 will be held on April 23 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

Brunei Darussalam were crowned champions in 2012 and Myanmar will be defending the title after winning it four years ago.

Haji Amer Hamzah bin Pehin Orang Kaya Amar Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Zakaria, Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as Assistant Co-Chair; Haji Rosmadee bin Haji Mohd Daud, Acting Director of Youth Development and Sports as Co-Secretary; Mariam binti Ulat, Acting Director of Youth and Sports as Co-Secretary; and Pengiran Anak Mohd Sofian bin Pengiran Anak Haji Ibrahim, Acting Deputy Director of Youth and Sports as Assistant Secretary during the press conference. – KHAIRIL HASSAN

According to Haji Amer Hamzah, the tournament is held to uphold His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s titah to involve the best teams in the Southeast Asian region to compete in the Southeast Asian football league besides providing exposure and ability in Southeast Asian sports to the world.

Other than that, the tournament serves as an opportunity for young players to compete internationally and promote networking among fellow competitors which can shape and establish a cultural understanding which is diverse in the Asean Community.

In leading towards the tournament, several events will be held including a draw ceremony today, sponsorship pledging ceremony on March 27 and Executive Committee Meeting of the HBT for Asean Youth Football Tournament 2018 on March 28.

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports encouraged all citizens and residents in the country, especially football fans, not to miss an opportunity to attend collectively to witness the football matches to further enliven the tournament.

Also present at the press conference were Haji Rosmadee bin Haji Mohd Daud, Acting Director of Youth Development and Sports in his capacity as Co-Secretary; Mariam binti Ulat, Acting Director of Youth and Sports in her capacity as Co-Secretary; and Pengiran Anak Mohd Sofian bin Pengiran Anak Haji Ibrahim, Acting Deputy Director of Youth and Sports in his capacity as Assistant Co-Secretary.