Muscat, April 13 - Oman national football team head coach Branko Ivankovic has announced the squad for an overseas training camp that is scheduled to take place from April 17 to May 5 in Dubai. The external warm-up camp is part of team’s preparation for the joint qualification of the 2022 Fifa World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Championship that will be held in Doha next June. The squad, unveiled by coach Branko in a press conference on Tuesday at Seeb Stadium, was without the professional players including the experienced captain Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’ besides some local players like Raed Ibrahim, Eid al Farsi and Ali al Nahar. The Red Warrior’s coach started with his intent to raise the technical standard of the team for the remaining matches at the joint qualification.
“Three more matches are remaining in the qualification and we have to improve the technical standard of the players. The first camp will feature two preparatory matches against local teams from the UAE. The main objective of the camp is to maintain the fitness level of the players and keep their technical performance. The second part of the preparation plan will be completed after Eid holidays as the next overseas camp is scheduled from May 16 to 30. Two matches are booked during the second part of the camp — against Thailand and Indonesia on May 25 and 29 respectively. The third camp will be in Qatar ahead of the start of the qualification matches’’, he said.
The Croatian Coach commented on Ahmed Kanu’s absence in the squad and he said: “Kanu is one of the experienced players and ranked as Ali al Habsi. The Oman Football Association (OFA) will follow-up closely with Kanu and his other team-mates. Unfortunately, he was away from the team since long period and our focus is to prepare the team for the joint qualifiers properly. We are depending on the players who are fully ready to represent the team in the joint qualifier matches. Our target is to prepare the team for the forthcoming assignments and equipping them to accomplish the desired goals’’, he added.
OLYMPIC TEAM PLAYERS CALLED UP
The 67-year-old affirmed that the team selected Dubai city as it is the best destination currently to have the external camp due to the suitable procedures during Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our target is to position Oman team as a competent team in the Asian competitions. The preparatory plan is well prepared and we hope to compete strongly in the continent level and our team will be in right shape for the qualification matches’’, he pointed out.
“After an impressive show of some Olympic national team including Yousef al Shiyadi, Arshad al Alawi and Saud al Habsi, we have decided to call up those players to join the camp’’, he concluded.
Oman squad: Fayez al Rushaidi, Yousef al Shiyadi, Ahmed al Rawahi, Ibrahim al Mukhaini, Mohammed al Musallami, Ahmed al Khamisi, Essam al Subhi, Fahmi Said, Juma al Habsi, Abdulaziz al Ghilani, Ali al Busaidy, Ahmed al Kaabi, Abbas al Hashami, Abdullah Fawaz, Arshad al Alawi, Harib Jameel, Yazeed al Maashani, Amjad al Harthy, Zaher al Aghbari, Salah al Yahyaei, Omar al Fazari, Mohsin Jawher, Yaseen al Shiyadi, Abdulaziz al Maqbali, Mohammed al Ghafri, Khalid al Hajri, Mohsin al Ghassani, Omar al Malki and Saud al Habsi.