Oman to meet Jordan on March 20, India on March 25 -
Muscat, Feb 28
Oman national football team head coach has announced the list of the 26 players for the camp in Dubai during March.
Branko Ivankovic, unveiled the players list during a press conference on Sunday at the Oman Football Association (OFA) headquarters in Seeb Stadium in presence of Maqbool al Balushi, team manager and media representatives.
Ivankovic, who celebrated his 67th birthday on Saturday, affirmed that he is fully confident with the selected players.
“The professional players abroad are stuck with their clubs and we have to depend on the Fifa days only to call them. The national team doors are always open for any top player and we are closely following up with the injured players also’’, he said.
The Croatian coach said he had planned five preparatory camps and training schedule last year but none of it worked due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“During the previous year, we had cancelled Dubai camp because of the late start of 2020-21 season and other restrictions due to coronavirus outbreak. The team had a domestic camp only in November. The pandemic had impacted the team’s preparation plans’’, he said.
Ivankovic pointed out that he preferred to have the remaining matches of the joint 2022 Fifa World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers as per the previous system. “Anyhow the decision is made and I was looking forward to Oman hosting the group matches but we are all aware with existing circumstances and restrictions of the pandemic’’, he said.
Responding to a query on why Oman are not facing any top teams instead of Jordan and India, the Croatian said that everyone will opt to meet top and professional teams for better preparation.
“The existing situation will not allow you to comfortably choose any teams which you would like to play. However, we managed to secure two preparatory matches. The Sultanate team had faced India previously and they are a much-improved team while Jordan will have a camp in Dubai in the same period and these matches give us a golden chance to evaluate our technical preparation prior to qualifiying matches’’, he clarified.
The 67-year-old’s first international match with Red Warriors will be with Jordan on March 20 as part of Dubai camp, while the next preparatory fixture is scheduled against India on March 25.
Goalkeepers: Fayez al Rushaidi, Ahmed al Rawahi, Ibrahim al Mukhaini; Defenders: Mohammed al Musallami, Ahmad al Khamisi, Ali al Nahar, Fahmi Durbin, Khalid al Buraiki, Abdulaziz al Ghilani, Ali al Busaidy, Ahmad al Kaabi and Abbas al Hashimi; Midfielders: Abdullah Fawaz, Harib al Saadi, Yazid al Mashani, Amjad al Harthi, Zahir al Aghbari, Salah al Yahyai, Omar al Fazari, Mohsin Jawhar and Yaseen al Shiyadi; Forwards: Abdulaziz al Maqbali, Mohammad al Ghafri, Khalid al Hajri, Mohsin al Ghassani and Omar al Malki.
Adil Al Balushi