Muscat, Oct 14
Oman national beach soccer team is back in action on Sunday in a preparatory camp at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat.
Coach Talib Hilal’s men are back to the field after an absence of more than eight months due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 15 selected players for the internal camp completed the PCR test which is part of the approved OFA medical protocol prior to commencement of any first team’s footballing event. The test reports allowed all the called player to join the camp which began on Sunday and will end on November 19.
The five days camp focused initially on the fitness training sessions after the long break of the team due to the pandemic. Training at the gymnasium is one of the essential part of the warm-up camp while the coach will implement some basic technical and tactical training in the evening sessions. The existing camp will be followed by another local camp in mid of the next month. It is expected that the forthcoming gathering will feature some preparatory matches after obtaining the confirmation from the teams.
The last presence of the Sultanate’s beach soccer team was at the global showpiece event at the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay in December. It was the third participation of the team at the world high-profile beach soccer tournament which had registered a crucial win for Oman against Nigeria. The national team had suffered two losses against Portugal and Brazil.
Experienced national coach Talib had led Oman to the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup for the first time in history in 2011 in Ravenna, Italy. Oman had crashed out in the first round as the team suffered three defeats against Portugal, Salvador, and Argentina. The second participation for the team at the global level was in Espinho in Portugal in 2015. The team ended their campaign again in the first round as they lost to Italy and Switzerland and registered a win against Costa Rica.
The 45-year-old will be leading the team in its sixth participation at the 2020 Asian Beach Games. Oman beach soccer team had managed to win the gold medal after beating UAE in the final clash.
The team had finished as runners-up twice in Muscat 2010 edition and Danang, Vietnam in 2016. Oman were crowned as champions of the Asian Championship in 2015 and positioned as runners-up in the 2009 edition.
The national beach soccer will take part in many top beach soccer events in the forthcoming year including the AFC Beach Soccer Championship 2021 finals which will take place in Thailand from March 13 to 21 is ranked as one of the top assignment for the national team. The Asian event also acts as the qualification route for Asian nations to the upcoming edition of the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia from August 19 to 29.
Another challenge for the team is the 2020 Asian Beach Games which will be staged in Sanya city, Hainan Island, China, during April. This event was scheduled for November 28 until December 6 but was rescheduled by the Olympic Council of Asia and the organisers to April 2 to 10 in 2021.
Oman players in the camp include: Khalid Khamis al Oraimi, Mishal al Oraimi, Muther al Oraimi, Yahya al Oraimi, Jalal al Sinani, Nouh al Zadjali, Abdullah al Souti, Abdulaziz al Raqadi, Salim al Oraimi, Abdullah al Balushi, Amjad al Hamdani, Shareef al Balushi, Younis al Oaisi, Sami al Balushi and Eid al Farsi.
Adil Al Balushi