MUSCAT, Nov 13 – Oman Football Association (OFA) is working on a long-term vision to revitalise the game in the Sultanate, according to Dr Jassim al Shukaili, Second Vice-Chairman of OFA and supervisor of Oman national football teams.
Al Shukaili emphasised that the current approaches taken by the OFA are aiming to build a strong foundation for the long-term goals, which are AFC Asian Cup 2019, Summer Olympics 2020 and Fifa World Cup 2022.
In an exclusive interview with Oman Daily Observer, Dr Jassim said, “We are working on both short and long-term goals and we are satisfied with what has been achieved till now.’’
“Despite the failure of the U-19 national team, all the other three teams were qualified to the upcoming AFC Asian Cups, which is the main goal achieved within the short terms plan.’’
The OFA has implemented a methodology to unify the work between all the four national teams.
“We have created a consistent system that makes the coaching staff of all national teams work in an integrated plan to help the players grow up with the same mindset and skills.
“Gradually this will help us to invest in the players so they elevate from one team to another without facing any new physical or mental issues,’’ Dr Jassim added.
“We are running a big project with a very logical and transparent management to achieve what we planned for…we hope to succeed, but if not, we are sure it will impact positively on the Oman football as a whole.”
Dr Jassim also commented about their current projects: “At this stage the most important thing is to prepare a strong squad to compete in AFC Asian Cup 2019 in UAE. We know that we still miss the shape but we have a plenty of time to fill in the gaps and I am sure we will enter the tournament with a competitive team.’’
“We have also the U-23 and U-16 national teams that will participate in the AFC Asian Cups in January and August 2018 respectively. We are proud that both the teams are managed by local managers Hamed al Azzani (U-23) and Yaqoob al Sabahi (U-16).
Finally, the OFA official addressed the failure of the U-19 national team, “We are evaluating the reasons behind Oman missing a place in the U-19 Asian Cup 2018, and we will soon come up with proper measures to address the failures.”
Jaber al Ajmi