Kuala Lumpur: Brunei are facing a ban from the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup and a possible fine after pulling out of a qualifying match against the Philippines, an AFC official said on Monday.
The spokesman said Asia's football governing body was "investigating" the sultanate over last week's withdrawal, but declined to give further details, including how long the probe would take.
The Philippine Football Federation announced on Thursday that Brunei had told the AFC that they would not take part in Friday's Group E qualifying match in Manila.
Brunei's National Football Association general secretary Noor Abdullah said the sultanate, located on Borneo island, had written a letter to the AFC to explain their withdrawal and was prepared to incur any penalty.
He declined to say why Brunei had pulled out of the match, only saying it was due to "unforeseen circumstances".
"We are a member of AFC and we must respect the regulations... (But) we hope the AFC can give us consideration and understand our problem," he said.
Under the competition's rules, teams that withdraw or do not show up to a match shall be required to pay compensation for any losses and be disqualified from taking part in the tournament's next edition.
The side would also be referred to the AFC disciplinary committee for additional sanctions and fines "depending on the gravity of the situation" and then to AFC's executive committee for a final decision, the rules state.
The top teams and the best second-place teams in the group stages will qualify for the Challenge Cup finals in Maldives next year.