Domestic football season likely to resume in October

MUSCAT, September 8

The Oman Football Association (OFA) received the permission from the Supreme Committee for the resumption of domestic footballing activities for 2019/2020 and commencement of new season 2020/2021 with full implementation of precautionary measures that will prevent spreading of the COVID-19 virus.
The domestic season is likely to begin sometime in October, with the specific dates for resumption of the 2019/20 season and the commencement of the new season to be announced by Sunday.
The OFA officials unveiled all the relevant details for restarting of the season in a press conference held at Seeb Stadium on Tuesday in presence of Said Othman al Balushi, the General Secretary of OFA, Hisham al Adwani Director of Professional League Union and Dr Majid al Wardi, director of medical team.
Hisham al Adwani said the decision on the resumption of footballing activities will begin by completing the 2019-20 season.
“There will be a one month break between completion of the current and the new footballing season. On Sunday, we will announce all the dates and schedules of the three remaining rounds of Omantel League, the HM Cup and first division league. The announcement of the new schedule depends on different factors including our agreement on TV broadcasting with the Ministry of Information, he said.
The Director of professional league added in his statement that all the domestic teams will be given five weeks to prepare for the resumption for the 2019/2020 season which may start somewhere in October.
Special arrangements
Said Othman al Balushi stated that all the teams are requested to provide the list of the foreign technical staff and players.
“We will share the list with all the relevant government entities to ease the facilities of abroad coaches and players to enter the country taking into consideration the implementation of all the precaution measures which was approved by the Supreme Committee and Ministry of Health,” he added.
Al Balushi said that the instructions from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and according to the Ministry of Health as well is that all the matches will have to be held without attendance of the spectators and avoid large gatherings.
“The announcement of resumption of the footballing activities came in line with the previous coordination between the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and OFA to Supreme Committee on restarting the remaining local competitions. The Supreme Committee accepted the request with ensuring the implementation of the medical protocol and preventive measures. In addition to that, all the sports complexes of the ministry will be in full readiness to begin the season in a few weeks time,” he pointed out.
Dr Majid al Wardi said that the implementation of the medical protocol began with Dhofar team.
“We have focal point in all the governorates and beside to that we have randomized teams with all the necessary preventive tools and equipments. All the players will be tested for COVID-19 test (PCR) besides applying the social distancing, wearing the face masks and preventing the use of the water bottle by more than one player. All the masks, sanitisers and temperature guns will be provided to all the teams. Prior to the commencement of the training sessions, there will be a regular check by the medical team and any players who have COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to take part in the match,” he ended.