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Omantel League to kick off on Thursday with new features

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MUSCAT: The 2023-24 Omantel League will kick off on Thursday with 12 clubs taking part in this season after withdrawal of some domestic clubs. The launch of the top flight league took place recently at the headquarters of Omantel in presence of OFA and Omantel officials besides attendance of the domestic clubs representatives.

This season will see difference in the cash prizes of the league as the winners will receive RO 50,000 while the runners up will be awarded RO 30,000. The third-placed team will collect RO 20,000 while the team which will finish in fourth will take home RO 15,000. The fifth and sixth placed teams will get RO 10,000 and RO 5,000 respectively.

The new season of Omantel League will move a step ahead as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be implemented in different phases. This year the VAR will be treated as a trial run ahead of expected full implementation in the forthcoming seasons. The officials at OFA focused on the fans attendance in the league matches as they unveiled during the launch of the league that 12 cars will be distributed to the spectators over the season in a raffle draw besides other attractive prizes.

The opening round of the top-tier league will feature defending champions Al Nahda meet the promoted club from first division league Al Shabab at Al Rustaq Sports Complex while Sur will play against Al Rustaq at the latter’s home in Sur Sports Complex. Both matches will be held on Thursday. The matches of the first week will be followed on Friday as Salalah giants Dhofar take on Al Wahda at Sur Sports Complex while Al Nasr will host Bahla at Al Saada Sports Complex. Oman Club will meet Sohar while Seeb's match against the champion of first division league Ibri is postponed due to Seeb’s participation in the preliminary round of the AFC Champions League.

Among the 12 clubs in Omantel League this season, six clubs managed to earn the title before including: Al Nahda, Dhofar, Seeb, Oman Club, Al Nasr and Sur while the others namely Al Rustaq, Bahla, Sohar, Ibri, Al Wahda and Al Shabab will chase a maiden title. Many of the domestic clubs equipped their squads with some new names and extended the contract of the key players. It is expected to be a different season as all the clubs completed their technical preparation and in good shape and readiness ahead of start of the league.

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