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Oman all set to host AHF Congress


By Anuroop Athiparambath — MUSCAT: March 12 - Preparations are in full swing for the first ever Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Congress to be hosted by the Sultanate on March 30. Shaikh Saad bin Mohammed al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs, will open the congress, which will be chaired by AHF President His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Ahmad Shah and attended by the dignitaries from around 31 countries. “International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Dr Narinder Batra and FIH CEO New Zealand’s Jason McCracken will attend the congress as special guests,” Talib al Wahaibi, Chairman of Oman Hockey Association (OHA) said on Sunday.

AHF CEO Tayyib Ikram will also attend the event.

During the congress, two high-performance coaches from Asia will be invited the OHA to hold consultations for setting up a hockey development academy in the Sultanate.

“Our plan is to have these coaches overlook the grassroot level hockey development in the Sultanate. They will be assisted by local coaches and officials in various parts of the country to coach kids from 8-16 age group,” the OHA chief said. “With the help of these high-performance coaches we will work towards qualifying for future Asian Games and Olympics,” he said.

Regarding the contract with the coaches, Al Wahaibi said the coaches have accepted the invitation to the congress and further things are to be finalised after meeting them.

The AHF Congress will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Muscat.

On the same day, the OHA will host the inaugural Super Cup match between the His Majesty’s Cup champions Seeb and Oman Hockey League champions Al Nasr at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex at 7.30 pm. “A big delegation from the AHF Congress will attend the match. FIH chief Batra will hand over the trophies to the winners,” Talib said.



In Dhaka, Oman national team finished fourth in the Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament.

In their third-place classification match, Oman slumped to a 5-1 defeat against Egypt. Mohammed Bait Jandal scored Oman’s lone goal in the 21st minute.

Earlier, in the semifinals on Saturday, Oman suffered a 5-1 loss against China and Malaysia thumped Egypt 5-0. Reflecting on the performance of the national team, the OHA chief congratulated the players for the spirited performance.

“The boys have put up a brilliant performance. Reaching the semifinals was a good achievement.”

“Now our focus will be on Asian Cup qualifiers to be held in Dhaka in September,” he said.

Oman will also be in action from April 24 to 28 when they participate in the Asian level six-a-side hockey tournament in Doha, Qatar. The top two teams from the tournament will qualify for Indoor World Cup 2018 in Germany.

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