Oman handball gets major lift with Asian deal

Anuroop Athiparambath –
Oman handball got a big shot in the arm as the Sultanate’s association signed a four-year deal to make the capital Muscat the training hub for Asian coaches, referees and administrative officials in the game.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Oman Handball Association (OHA) Chairman Dr Said al Shahri and Bader al Theyab, vice-president of International Handball Federation and treasurer of Asian Handball Federation (AHF), at the Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) headquarters in Muscat on Thursday.
The Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher will host the training programmes.
OHA chief Dr Said al Shahri was delighted to make the deal possible and said it will give a much-needed fillip to Oman handball.
“I am happy that we are able to make Muscat an Asian training hub for handball. This is a big thing for Oman handball.”
“This deal will hugely boost the standard of the game in the Sultanate. We will try to make most of it as the OHA will take initiative to improve the coaching, officiating and administrative skills of Omanis in the game also,” Al Shahri said.
Commenting on the deal, Bader al Theyab said the cooperation with the OHA will reach new heights with the agreement.
“The AHF believes that the deal will serve a great deal to improve the game in Oman and Asian level. Oman can make use of the situation to develop well trained coaches, referees and officials also,” he said.
On Oman’s standard in the game, the IHF vice-president said Oman is a significant force in beach handball and has good potential in the indoor game.
OOC Chairman and International Olympic Committee member Shaikh Khalid bin Mohammed al Zubair was the chief guest on the occasion.
Ahmed Abu al Lail, AHF executive director, and Jasem al Theyab, AHF technical director, was also present.
New coach for Oman handball team, Egyptian Mohammed Abdel Moaty will arrive in Oman on Friday, according to Said bin Ali al Hosni, an administrator at the OHA.
The immediate task for Abdel Moaty, the former coach of Kuwait, will be to prepare the national team for the Asian championship in South Korean capital of Seoul.
The 18th Asian Men’s Handball Championship in South Korea from January 18-28 will also serve as the qualifier for the world championship.
Oman has been placed in Group B that comprises Australia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan.
Iran, Iraq and Japan are in Group A while Bangladesh, India, South Korea and UAE form Group C and China, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are in Group D. The top four teams will advance to the 2019 worlds, jointly organised by Denmark and Germany.
The national beach handball team, under coach Hamood al Hassani, will be in action at next year’s world championship in Kazan, Russia.
For the junior side, main focus will be the 16th Asian Men’s Junior Championship in July 2018 and Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in Argentina from October 6-12, 2018.
In the coming November, Oman juniors will take part in an Arab level tournament in Saudi Arabia.