Muscat: To make sure Oman’s national football team has every advantage for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers the players are to be given all possible support available.
His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham bin Tarik Al Said, the Minister for Culture, Sports, and Youth, instructed the Oman Football Association (OFA) to “provide support, material requirements, and logistical facilities for the senior national football team to complete its preparations for important matches, including the final stage of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, 2023 Asian Cup, and participation at the Arab Cup,” according to an OFA statement.
Oman are through to the third round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, set to be held in Qatar, with their matches taking place between September 2, 2021, and March 24, 2022.
One of 12 teams taking part in the qualifying process, Oman has been drawn in Group B, alongside traditional powerhouses Japan, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. China and Vietnam are also part of their group. Group A consists of Iran, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
The 12 countries are part of the Asian Football Confederation, which has been awarded 4.5 places at Qatar 2022. The four teams that finish first and second in each group will qualify for the World Cup directly, while the teams that come third will play each other in a single match to decide which team makes it through to a playoff with a team from another confederation. The winner of that match will make it through to the World Cup.
“The support provided will undoubtedly be a positive factor concerning the progress of the national team,” added the OFA statement. “It comes as part of the efforts to harness the skills of the players of the national team, the administration, and the technical staff, and motivate and encourage them to achieve the best results towards keeping pace with, and achieving, our desired aspirations.”
The efforts of His Highness towards the national team are part of his efforts to create an environment that encourages athletes to do their best, added Oman football’s governing body, thanking him for the efforts taken to support the sport.
Oman is among 16 teams taking part in the Arab Cup, which is also to be held in Qatar between November 30 and December 1. Their first match is against Iraq on November 30, followed by a game against the hosts on December 3. Their final group game is against fellow Gulf Cooperation Council country Bahrain on December 6.