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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman launches Hockey5s World Cup bid

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Oman Sail partners OHA in efforts to land the hosting rights for 2023 event


MUSCAT, March 30


The Sultanate has officially launched its bid to host the first ever Men’s and Women’s Hockey5s World Cup 2023.


Oman Sail, the sailing body with experience of hosting top-class international events in the country, has joined arms with the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) to prepare and present this bid to the International Hockey Federation (FIH).


Until now, it is learned that apart from Oman, India, Malaysia, South Africa and the Netherlands are in fray to win the rights to host the inaugural World Cup of the fast-paced and shorter format of hockey.


“We believe in our strengths and hope to win the rights to host this prestigious tournament in Oman,” OHA Chairman Talib al Wahaibi told a press conference at the Oman Olympic Committee headquarters in Muscat on Tuesday.


Unveiling the details of the bid, Captain Talib said the OHA has the experience of hosting the hockey5s tournaments, a comparatively new format of the game.


“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.


HOCKEY5s LEAGUE


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 said.


“The OHA will seek the government support in adding the new league. We thank the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth for approving our bid for the World Cup,” 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, Under-Secretary for Sports at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, will head the bid presentation team with the OHA chairman as the assistant.


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


Eng Dawood al Raisi, Abdul Hussain al Lawati and Tarmah Abdul Hussain will be the ambassadors for the Sultanate’s bid at the FIH.


GOOD CHANCE


In reply to a query, the OHA chief said: “We believe Oman has a good chance to win the bid. We are capable of staging the big event and the OHA has the enough expertise to hold it successfully after our success stories in hosting Asian Games qualifiers and Asian Champions Trophy.”


He said Oman’s existing hockey facilities will be expanded and at least 10 new stadiums will be set up if Oman wins the World Cup rights.


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


“Whatever be the end result of the bid, the OHA is keen on setting up a permanent platform for the hockey5s with a dedicated league, team, coach and facilities,” he concluded.


Anuroop


Athiparambath


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