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Brunei withdraw from Suzuki Cup qualifier due to Covid-19 impact

By Reuters   November 8, 2021 | 10:40 pm PT
Brunei withdraw from Suzuki Cup qualifier due to Covid-19 impact
Laos against Brunei during their 2015 SEA Games Group B football match at Bishan Stadium. Photo by Singapore SEA Games Organizing Committee
Brunei said they have pulled out of next month's Suzuki Cup qualifier as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic left them unable to prepare for the regional tournament.

Brunei had been due to face Timor-Leste on Dec. 1 in a playoff for a place in the group phase of the championship, which is being played in Singapore.

The 2020 edition of Southeast Asia's biennial Suzuki Cup was postponed due to Covid-19.

"The pandemic has unfortunately had far-reaching effects on our team's preparations for the tournament," said Matusin Matasan, the president of Brunei's football association.

"While all efforts have been put forth to resolve the difficulties, it proved to be too complicated at this late juncture."

Timor-Leste will now play in Group A alongside five-time champions Thailand, hosts Singapore, Myanmar and the Philippines. Defending champions Vietnam have been drawn in Group B with Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.

The tournament is due to begin on Dec. 5 with the final on Jan. 1.

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