HBT tourney to involve over 200 security officers

National 2 minutes, 13 seconds


PARENTS were advised against bringing underage children to matches of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy tournament, which is expected to mobilise more than 200 security personnel.

In a press conference yesterday, Pg Mohd Azlan Pg Hj Tengah Omar, a senior official at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, said it may not be wise to bring along young children below six to the football matches.

He said safety was of utmost importance for large-scale events, and organisers have made more efforts to better manage the crowds.

“But we must be alert, reduce as many risks as we can, especially those on children,” added the officer who has had experience organising Brunei’s National Day events.

Assistant Superintendent Hj Awang Termizi Dr Hj Awang Md Yussop from the Royal Brunei Police Force said over 200 uniformed personnel would be on duty around the stadium.

Spelling out the safety rules, the Berakas Police Station officer warned visitors not to bring any items that may cause serious danger to others.

These include umbrellas, plastic bottles, fireworks, laser pointer, whistles and these banned items are illustrated on the tourney’s match tickets.

“Be cooperative, respect each other to prevent any confrontation,” the police officer said.

He also advised spectators to be wary of their belongings, not keep any valuables in their car, double check that they are locked, as well as abide by road traffic rules.

“RBPF will not hesitate to take any action on those who disobey these laws,” he added.

Acting Director of Youth and Sports Hj Abd Malik Hj Mohammad advised spectators to go early - before 7.30pm - to get good seats and avoid disappointment.

“I call on the public to comply with with the rules and directions of the officers on duty to secure everyone’s safety and well-being,” he said.

Hj Abd Malik said they are expecting large Indonesian crowds when they play against Brunei in the group stage.

“However, the match will likely be played at the national stadium – fit enough to cater around 30,000 people. Regardless, we hope for public cooperation to obey any announcements made.”

In 2012, it was reported that some ticket-holders were unable to find themselves a seat in the stadium even though they had a ticket.

Meanwhile, about 200 youths took part in the first rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy 2014 at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium last night.

The opening ceremony is expected to involve participants from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and National Service Programme.

Brunei will host the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy football tournament, which will feature 11 countries, for the fifth time from August 9-23. (Additional reporting by Izzan Kassim)

The Brunei Times