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Al Suwaiq, Sohar ponder pulling out of next season

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Muscat: Omantel League 2023 runners-up Al Suwaiq Club has threatened to pull out of next football season due to their financial conditions blaming the Oman Football Association (OFA) for the technical decline of the sport in the country.

Al Suwaiq, who were in reckoning for the league title till the penultimate round of the OL, thrashed Sohar 4-0 in the last round to secure the second spot in the league.

Two days after the conclusion of Omantel League, where Al Nahda emerged champions, Al Suwaiq Club issued a statement regarding the club activities for the next season.

The statement begins by describing the technical decline of the level of the Oman Football Association championships for the previous seasons, especially the 2022-2023 season, which caused a negative impact on Omani clubs.

Al Suwaiq Club is about to make the decision to pull out of their football first team blaming the general situation of Oman sport and levels of the Oman Football Association championships.

Al Suwaiq Club statement cited some reasons for the decision. “The declining technical and organising status of football competitions and unclear vision of development. Prizes are not satisfactory and not commensurate with the expenses, not developing the level of refereeing and without applying a system. Not developing the level of arbitration and not applying the (VAR) technique. Absence of marketing. Absence of individual awards for players and administrators."

As soon as Croatia's Branko Ivankovic, Oman national team coach, announced the team's list for the internal camp from May 29 to June 3, the controversy over the Al Suwaiq crisis increased.

The camp included seven players from Al Suwaiq Club -- Fayez al Rushaidi, Harib al Saadi, Mahmoud al Mushaifri, Khalid al Buraiki, Ahmed al Khamisi, Abdulrahman al Mushaifri and Esam al Subhi -- which raised questions about the team’s inability to achieve any championship this season.

Ali bin Hamad al Khanbashi, former coach of Al Suwaiq club, explained to Oman Observer that “Al Suwaiq's failure in the league is not due to the decline in the level of the players as much as it is due to the strength of Al Nahda at a collective level.”

“Al Nahda are the most organised and technically stable club, and they had planned to achieve the league title for more than two seasons. In addition is the stability of the team’s formation, and therefore they deserved the championship,” he added.

Al Khanbashi affirmed his opposition to the Al Suwaiq administration's plan to pulling out the football activity, adding: "Al Suwaiq Club abound in a lot of talent, and a great team that has achieved championships is not supposed to study this decision".

Ali al Khanbashi expected that the fans of Al Suwaiq would also like the club to continue their involvement in the league and other OFA tournaments.


In addition, Al Wusta Club also announced the suspension of football activities for the 2023 season, the statement explained that due to the general conditions of the Oman sport and the financial challenges faced by the club, adding to the lack of clarity in the vision of the club’s facilities and structures.

Sohar Club also issued a statement to suspend football activities for the 2023 season. In a club statement after the meeting, study and consideration of the administrative, technical and financial conditions of the club, it said suspend some sports activities for the coming period.

On the other hand, the Oman Football Association is yet to respond on the Al Suwaiq’s statement of withdrawing their first team. The football fans and sports enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the OFA's point of view on the pull-out threats made by the clubs.

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