A Bruneian hockey player (L) in
action in this file photo.
Picture: BT file
The national hockey team turned down their invite for the upcoming 51st Tun Abdul Razak Cup in Kuantan, Malaysia, from September 5-15.
National hockey coach Berandai Dadong said that they will not be taking part as they haven't been able to train.
"The national team are unable to practise as the Hockey Stadium (at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas) is under renovation to replace the carpets," he told The Brunei Times last night.
A report in Malaysian daily The Star which was published on Friday stated that the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are waiting for replies from Brunei and Thailand.
Indonesia will make their Razak Cup debut while Singapore, a tournament regular, have also confirmed their entry.
The paper stated that it was likely that Thailand and Brunei may take up the offer as part of their preparations for the Myanmar SEA Games in December.
"It will be good if all the four Asean countries play in the meet, then we will have a record number of teams for the Razak Cup," said MHC competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan.
"We have 16 affiliates and with the four there will be a total of 20 teams," he added.
Gobinathan also said that the tournament format would remain a two-division competition.
"The competitions committee will meet next week to decide on the placement of the teams in the various pools.
"It is likely that we may maintain a seven-team round-robin pool for Division One and have two pools in Division Two," he said.
"The competitions committee will study the format and then make a decision. It will also depend on the strengths of the teams concerned," Gobinathan added. Last year was a disappointing one for Brunei's national hockey team following the cancellation of the World Hockey League and the postponement of the Borneo Games.
A previous report in The Brunei Times stated that the postponement meant that the national were left with no top-level competitions until now.
The Sultanate was also supposed to see action at the Malaysian Games (SUKMA) in Pahang last year but failed to qualify after notching one win and one loss in the two-part match-test series. The last competitive tournament the national team competed in was the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) 9-a-Side Borneo Hockey Invitational in Kota Kinabalu in May, where they won the plate category after defeating Goodwood Hockey Team 2-0 in the final.
The national team defeated Sabah 1-0 to win the gold medal in the 2007 edition of the Borneo Games in Kuching and remains the country's biggest achievement in the sport. It was the first time the men's national hockey team won gold in the sport, picking up the dramatic win during the final day of the tournament.