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Historic moment for Oman: Talib

OHA chief thanks HM, Sports Ministry for supporting bid Hockey great Zaman to return as coach
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MUSCAT: Winning the bid to host the first ever FIH Hockey5s World Cups (Men and Women) is a historic moment in Oman sports, Oman Hockey Association (OHA) Chairman Talib al Wahaibi said after the voting of the bid was over in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“First of all I would love to thank the Almighty as Oman’s bid has succeeded and the Sultanate will host the FIH Hockey5s World Cups (Men and Women) in January 2024. On the behalf of the bid team, I sincerely thank and congratulate His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth headed by HH Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said and other officials who had whole-heartedly supported the efforts of the OHA to make this possible,” Talib told Oman Observer.

The OHA chief said Pakistan great Tahir Zaman will renew contract as Oman coach.

“There will be a men’s coach and women’s coach with the assistant coaches from Oman,” Talib said confirming Zaman’s return as national coach after his contract ended during the pandemic period.

Oman had earlier successfully hosted Asian Champions Trophy in October 18 to 28, 2018 and Asian Games qualifying tournament from March 2 to 10, 2018. The qualifying tournament for Asian Games Jakarta 2018 and the prestigious Asian Champions Trophy, which saw the heavyweights India and Pakistan as joint winners, were staged at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex hockey turf.

Talib appreciated the support of His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, and all officials at the ministry for their support for the bid.

"Winning the rights to host this innovative and attractive hockey tournament will open up great horizons and showcase for the Sultanate around the world," he added.


The Hockey 5s is an increasingly popular format of the sport, played on a smaller pitch and which has featured at the last two Summer Youth Olympic Games.

In 2019, the FIH Executive Board decided to create an FIH Hockey5s World Cup, with a view to further boosting the development of hockey globally through the promotion of its 5-a-side format.

Hockey5s is played with 5 athletes per team. It is particularly known for its non-stop end to end action, since the ball is in play for about 90 per cent of a match, thanks to rebound-boards placed against the outside of the side-lines and back-lines. Furthermore, there are usually more goals with Hockey5s than with the more traditional 11-a-side format of hockey, since players can score from anywhere after the attacking line.

Played in about 70 countries in the world, Hockey5s was the most attended sport at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with no less than 200’000 spectators.


The OHA had tied up with Oman Sail to present Oman’s bid for the World Cup which was officially launched on March 30.

Captain Talib said the OHA has the experience of hosting the hockey5s tournaments, a comparatively new format of hockey.

“We had organised some club events of hockey5s like Gulf Cup Fiesta, involving teams in Oman and GCC. So this format is not new for the OHA,” he said.

The OHA has also earmarked this season for some hockey5s events and training.

“In fact we were prepared to hold some hockey5s events in last season. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation we had curtailed several plans. Anyway, the OHA will include the hockey5s schedule in the upcoming season, including a separate league for hockey5s,” Al Wahaibi had said.

“The OHA will seek the government support in adding the new league to our schedule,” he added.

He said Oman has a rich pool of young hockey players to fit in for the hockey5s squad.

“We are also looking to get a new coach for hockey5s from the local experts. Local coaches have done a commendable job in the recently concluded His Majesty’s Cup.”

Shaikh Rashad al Hinai, Undersecretary for Sports at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, headed the bid presentation team with the OHA chairman as the assistant.

Three ambassadors were unveiled for Oman’s bid with former administrators getting the honour.

Eng. Dawood al Raisi, Abdul Hussain Ali al Lawati and Tarmah Abdul Hussain were the ambassadors for the Sultanate bid at the FIH.

He said Oman’s existing hockey facilities will be expanded and at least 10 new stadiums will be set up to host the high-profile event.

Though Oman have hockey facilities across the country, the event will be staged in Muscat according to the bid file.

“We are keen on setting up a permanent platform for the hockey5s with a dedicated league, team, coach and facilities,” he concluded.

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