Friday, April 11, 2003
FAM relax rules to let Bothwell play for Brunei
PETALING JAYA: The FA of Malaysia (FAM) have made an exception by allowing Brunei to rehire their inspirational playmaker Brian Bothwell.
And the Australian striker, who played a big part to help Brunei win the Malaysia Cup in 1999, made his return with a bang – scoring the solitary goal in the Premier II match against Police at the Sultan Hassanal Stadium in Bandar Seri Begawan on Wednesday.
Under the rules, Bothwell is not eligible to play this season. Foreigners who have played in leagues in the region are required to serve a two-year “cooling off” period before they can return to play in Malaysia.
Bothwell was with Brunei from 1995 to 1999 but had to leave the team in 2000 because the FAM rule to bar foreigners from the M-League. They reopened the doors to foreigners last year but applied the “cooling off” clause to the rules. Bothwell played for Geylang FC in the Singapore S-League in 2001.
His presence in the Brunei team now will certainly boost their challenge in Premier II. Brunei are now in seventh spot in the the 12-team league.
In his five seasons with Brunei, Bothwell scored a total of 70 goals. But since winning the Malaysia Cup in 1999, Brunei have failed miserably. This is their third season in Premier II.