The head coach of the national football team, Branko Ivankovic, announced during a press meet on Thursday a 23-member Oman squad for the 2021 Fifa Arab Cup which will take place in Doha from November 30 to December 18.
The official team list omitted many existing players who attended the previous matches at the AFC Asian qualifiers - Road to Qatar including Ali al Busaidi, Abdulaziz al Maqbali, Fayez al Rushaidi, Zaher al Aghbari and Mahmood Mabrook.
“We are not happy with Japan’s result but I am satisfied with team’s performance during the game. Fifa Arab Cup event is as essential event for Qatar as they are gearing up to host 2022 Fifa World Cup. The team will have an internal gathering on November 25 and in the following day, team will travel to Doha. Only 23 members to be allowed in the championship according to Fifa rules but we have the authority to change the names during the event,” coach Branko Ivankovic said.
The Croatian coach added in his statement during the press conference at Seeb Stadium that the team will miss Fayez al Rusheidi and Zaher al Aghbari due to their attendance with the Iranian team while Mohammed al Musallami for his injury. Mohsin al Ghassani and Abdulaziz al Ghilani will attend the Fifa tournament. All the team’s matches are crucial and are essential to keep the momentum high among the players,” he pointed in the press conference.
Commenting on the team preparation, the 67-year-old affirmed that the team aims to register the triumph in all the games. “ The coaching staff prepared attacking team and we considered all the teams who will meet during the championship. The selected players in the squad are the best currently and omission of some players due to giving opportunity for other faces. Al Munhder al Alawi’s returning will not be same as before the injury,” he said.
The coach concluded moving to the second round and accomplishing the victory in all the games are our target in Fifa World Cup.
Oman will play in Group A which comprised the hosts Qatar, Iraq and Bahrain. The 'Red Warriors' will commence the campaign in the tournament on 30th November against Iraq. Then, the team will face Qatar on December 3 and will conclude the group matches with an encounter against Bahrain on 6th December.
Among the 23 selected, ten players are from Seeb while three players from Al Nasr, Dhofar and Al Suwaiq.
Sultanate of Oman squad:
Harib al Saadi, Salah al Yahyaei, Arshadal Alawi, Ahmed Faraj, Amjad al Harthi, Juma al Habsi, Al Mundher al Alawi, Khalid al Buraiki, Mohsin al Ghassani, Abdulaziz al Ghilani, Ibrahim al Rajhi, Fahmi Said, Ibrahim al Mukhini, Khalid al Hajri, Abdullah Fawaz, Motaz Saleh, Issam al Subhi, Ahmed al Khamisi, Omar al Fazari, Ahmed al Kaabi, Mohammed al Ghafri, Mohsin Jawher and Jameel al Yahmadi.