Muscat: The Oman Football Association (OFA) has decided to scrap the sale of tickets at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex for the Oman-India World Cup qualifier on November 19 after a bitter experience with the Oman-Bangladesh match on last Thursday. Instead, the tickets for Indian fans will be available at the Indian Social Club in Darsait and Al Maha petrol pumps in Ruwi (near Al Hamriya round about), Wadi Kabir (near Friday Market), Al Ghubra (near Public Authority for Consumer Protection building) and Al Hail South (Main Road).
“There will be a total allocation of 3,000 general tickets and 300 VIP tickets for Indian fans,” Said Othman al Balushi, OFA General Secretary, told a specially convened meeting at the OFA headquarters at Seeb Stadium on Sunday. “No fans without tickets will be allowed inside the stadium. The fans are not supposed to carry any food items and water bottles inside due to security reasons. Water and food items will be available for sale inside,” Said Othman
The decision comes after the chaos outside the stadium during Oman’s World Cup qualifier match against Bangladesh. The traffic was totally affected for hours after Bangladesh fans turned up in huge numbers outside the stadium. A lot of Omani fans were not able to watch the match due to lack of space inside the stadium too, the OFA officials said.
GATES OPEN AT 2 PM
The general ticket will be available for RO 5 and VIP ticket cost RO 10. The gates will be open from 2 pm. The match will kick off at 7 pm. “All the fans are requested to turn up early and avoid any traffic hassles outside the stadium. Fans should collect the tickets from the specified Al Maha outlets and the Indian Social Club. No sale of tickets will be there at the stadium,” the OFA general secretary added.
It will be free entry for all Omanis as the citizens are entitled to have free access for all the matches of the national team, as per the rule. The Indian fans can use the gates 4 and 5 at the stadium for entry, Shabib al Hosni, OFA Assistant Secretary, said. “The Omani fans can access the gates 1, 2, 3 and 4 at the stadium,” Al Hosni added.
The joint qualifier for World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 will be a crucial match for hosts Oman and visiting India in Group E. Qatar top the group with 10 points from 4 matches while Oman are second with nine points from as many matches. India are fourth with three points behind Afghanistan with four points and Bangladesh are at the bottom with one point from four matches.