Travel restrictions have prevented reigning Singapore Premier League (SPL) champions Brunei DPMM FC from defending their title.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on Monday announced that team would not participate for the rest of the 2020 SPL season.
While Brunei will sit out the 2020 SPL season, the league will proceed without them in order to decide Singapore’s representatives for 2021 Asian Football Confederation competitions.
The FAS said that the club had done everything possible in order to compete in the SPL this season however Brunei’s national policies prevented this from happening. DPMM FC currently does not have confirmation on when travel will be allowed to resume.
“It is extremely unfortunate that Brunei DPMM FC will not be able to join us for the resumption of the 2020 SPL campaign as I am certain SPL supporters and the other participating clubs are looking forward to see the reigning champions defend their title,” FAS President Mr Lim Kia Tong said in a media release on the FAS website.
“However, we recognise that these are extraordinary circumstances, and the current situation leaves us with extremely limited options. Brunei DPMM FC has been a valued participant of the SPL for a better part of the decade and remains an integral part of our League. We look forward to welcoming them back next season.”
DPMM FC’s match against 2-0 win over Tampines Rovers in March will be voided. It was the only match the two-time SPL winners played before the season was suspended.
“We were looking forward to defending our title this season. However, despite our best efforts, the travel rules have meant that it is not possible for us to do so,” Brunei DPMMFC General Manager Ali Haji Momin said about the announcement.
“We are tremendously grateful for the patience and kind understanding of the FAS over the last few weeks as we both sought for a solution to this matter. We wish the other eight teams the best of luck for the rest of this season, and hope to return for the 2021 season in full force.”
The SPL resumed on October 17 after a seven-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.