National football coach Kwon Oh-son (2nd L) giving out instructions during a training session last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. BT/ Yee Chun Leong
Md Fakhrul pleads guilty to theft charges
The Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) team are hit with yet another setback. First choice goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof was yesterday imposed a $1,500 fine after he pleaded guilty to stealing gas cylinders.
The 23-year-old stole three gas cylinders from two houses on July 20 according to the court document submitted by prosecuting officer Emily Goh. Team manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff is left scratching his head regarding the situation and revealed that they have yet to come up with a decision on whether the 2012 HBT winning custodian will remain in the squad.
"We are still discussing the issue on what will be done. No decision has been made yet," said Hj Feisal in an interview with The Brunei Times when met during a training session last night at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Right now everyone is working hard, avoiding any negative thinking and moving forward," he said. Md Fakhrul told the court yesterday that he desperately needed money to get his phone back, having put it up as collateral when he borrowed money from a friend.
He added that he needed to pay up by midnight to get back his phone and didn't want to ask money from his parents. The keeper, who has no previous convictions on record, also voiced regrets in his wrong doings.
I promise not to re-offend. I have a tournament for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy soon. If possible I would pay back for the gas cylinders. I feel very remorseful," said Md Fakhrul, who was chosen as one of the five overage players on the roster.
The Under-21 football team have just over two weeks left to prepare for the August 8-23 biennial event. Brunei, as hosts of the 5th HBT for ASEAN Youth Football Championship, were given the option of choosing which group to be drawn in during the draw ceremony on July 12. The defending champions are in Group B alongside Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
Indonesia, the 2002 champions, were then later drawn into the same group on Tuesday after confirming their last minute entry on Sunday. Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor Leste and two-time champions Thailand make up Group A. The tournament will kick off with three matches on August 8.
Indonesia and Malaysia will be the first to see action as they face off in Group B at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex at 4pm. Two Group A matches will be held concurrently at 8.15pm. The Philippines will take on Laos at the Berakas Sports Complex while Myanmar will go head-to-head against Thailand at the Balapan Track and Field.
The Sultanate will start their title defence against Cambodia at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on August 9 before taking on Indonesia on August 11. They will then face Singapore two days later before locking horns with Vietnam on August 16. Brunei will then end the group stage against Malaysia two days later.