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‘Red Warriors’ head to Doha high on expectations


Oman national football team will head off to Doha on Saturday morning to take part at the 24th edition of the Arabian Gulf Cup which will take place in Qatar from November 26 to December 8. Shaikh Salim al Wahibi, Chairman of Oman Football Association (OFA) will preside over the Sultanate delegation alongside some of the OFA board members, the technical staff and the players.

With the hopes high for a strong showing at the region’s top football tournament, the ‘Red Warriors’ heroes are looking to lift the title for the second successive time and third in the history after they won the titles in 2009 in Muscat and 2017 in Kuwait.

Oman are placed in Group B alongside Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain while hosts Qatar will play against Iraq, UAE and Yemen in Group B. The defending champions will commence their campaign at the Gulf Cup through taking Bahrain on Wednesday. The ‘Red Warriors’ will meet Kuwait, who are ten times Gulf Cup champions on November 30 while the last match at group stage will be against Saudi Arabia on December 2.

All Oman matches will be held at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Al Duhail which is one of the venues for the 2022 Fifa World Cup. The next stadium which will host the Gulf Cup matches is Khalifa International Stadium.

Oman head coach Erwin Koeman had earlier expressed his thoughts as the team geared up for the Gulf Cup sojourn.

“I am fully aware of the importance of the Gulf Cup to the region and to Omanis in particular. However, it will be my first time that I will be coaching a team where we will play two matches with a one day rest in between. Anyhow, we have to adapt to that and deliver a top performance during the tournament.”

Yemen and Iraq teams arrived were the first to arrive in Doha for the 24th Gulf Cup. It is expected that all the teams will be available in Doha on Sunday as the training programmes are distributed to the participated teams in the tourney. It is expected that this edition will register a high competence among the Gulf teams as the champions of the Gulf Cup will receive $2 million as cash prize while the runners-up will get $1 million. All the participating teams will receive half million dollars.

The officials at the organising committee of the 24th edition of the Gulf Cup affirmed their readiness for the top region football event. The Qatari Football Association assured in a recent press meet held in Doha that the Gulf Cup is a drill for the main upcoming event of FIFA World Cup in 2022 which will take place within three years from now. Also, the officials stated that many pre-tournament activities will be arranged for the fans inside the venues of World Cup 2022.

Koeman, the national team head coach, announced the squad of the team which was picked by him.

Oman squad: Fayez al Rushaidi, Ahmed al Rawahi, Ibrahim al Mukhaini, Ali al Busaidi, Abdulsalam Amer al Mukhaini, Mohammed al Musallami, Ahmed Khalifa al Kaabi, Abdul Aziz al Gheilani, Saad Suhail al Mukhaini, Fahmi Said, Mohammed Faraj al Rawahi, Imran al Heidi, Al Mundher al Alawi, Harib al Saadi , Zaher al Aghbari, Ahmad Mubarak, Arshad al Alawi, Mohammed Mubarak al Ghafri, Mohsin Jawhar al Khaldi, Yassin al Sheyadi, Said al Ruzaiqi, Abdul Aziz al Moqbali and Mohsin Ghassani.

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