The 2020 AIA Singapore Premier League title will be decided among Singaporean teams as defending champion Brunei DPMM FC will not participate further for the remaining of the fixtures.
This was announced by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) that the Bruneian club did not get the clearance to travel overseas, in compliance with Brunei’s travel restriction amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The association was informed by DPMM FC that the team cannot take part in the upcoming fixtures in Singapore.
“Furthermore, with growing concerns worldwide over the pandemic, there is no official confirmation to their participation,” said FAS in a statement.
DPMM FC joined the SPL in 2009 and have won the league twice in 2015 and 2019, as well as winning the Singapore Cup three times in 2009, 2012 and 2014.
This season, they only managed to play one match against Tampines Rovers in March prior to the league’s suspension over COVID-19 in the republic.
FAS president Lim Kia Tong said that it is very unfortunate that Brunei DPMM FC is unable to continue their SPL campaign.
“I am sure that our fans and other teams would want to see the defending champions play to defend their title. However, due to unforeseen and unprecedented events, we were handed limited options, and though they pulled out this year we would welcome them back with open arms for 2021,” said Lim.
For his part, DPMM FC Manager Ali Haji Momin shared that the team complied with the travel restriction imposed by the sultanate which barred them to play in Singapore.
“Of course, we wanted to defend our title. Despite our best efforts, the restriction is inexpugnable. We thank the FAS for their patience and cooperation in these few weeks, and wishing the rest of teams in the SPL best of luck as we hope to come back for more in 2021,” he said.
The SPL resumed on October 17 and without the Bruneians, the rest of the fixtures would run as scheduled to determine Singaporean representatives to next year’s AFC Champions League and AFC Cup.
The Bruneian | KUALA LUMPUR