Muscat: The second CISM World Cup Football Championship will be kicked off on Sunday with hosts Oman taking on Guinea in the inaugural match at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
The championship, which sees participation of military teams from 16 countries, will be officially inaugurated by His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan, in the presence a number of ministers, commanders of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF), military and security agencies, a number of employees of the Ministry of Defence and SAF, the Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) and Royal Oman Police (ROP).
While declaring Oman’s readiness to host a successful CISM World Cup, Lt. Col. Khalid bin Ali Al Jabri, Acting Director of Military Sports and Deputy Chairman of the Organising Committee, said the inaugural ceremony will be simple but yet impressive.
“The opening ceremony will be a simple affair. But it will be an impressive and unique one that will depict the history of Oman’s civilisation and culture and the country’s relations with the other nations and the people.”
The inaugural ceremony will also include musical and cultural programmes that will depict Omani traditional arts. The music bands of Royal Army of Oman, the Royal Navy of Oman, Royal Guard of Oman and the Royal Oman Police as well as shows by Sultan’s Armed Forces and the Royal Cavalry of Royal Court Affairs will also form part of inaugural ceremony.
The Organising Committee, meanwhile, held a meeting with representatives of the CISM at the headquarters of Military Sports Directorate.
The meeting reviewed all aspects of the preparations and readiness for the start of the tournament.
The representatives of the CISM also visited the venues and they were all praise for the venues and the attention being given to the World Cup by the hosts.
Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Khalid bin Ali Al Jabri informed that all the participating teams have arrived in the capital city.
“The latest teams to arrive are the United States, Canada and Ireland. And with that all the teams have arrived for the championship,” he said.
The matches will be played at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, which will also host closing ceremony, ROP Stadium in Al Wattayah and Seeb Sports Stadium.
Hosts Oman, who are placed in Group A, play their second match against Bahrain on January 18 before completing their group engagements with a match against France on January 20.
The hosts will play all their group matches at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher.
Group B comprises Algeria, Iran, Germany and Brazil while Qatar, Iraq, United States and Mali form Group C. Egypt, Syria, Poland and Canada are placed in Group D.
The quarterfinals will take place on January 24. The semifinals will be played on January 26.The third-place play-off and the final are scheduled for January 28.
Al Ruzaiqi injured
Meanwhile, Oman were forced to make a change to their final squad following an injury to Said Al Ruzaiqi, who was injured during Oman's practice match against Al Shabab Club.
Coach Mohanna Said Al Adawi has replaced Al Ruzaiqi with Said Obaid Al Abdulsalam.
The other members of the Sultanate's team are Mohammed Al Mashri, Fayeez Al Rashdi, Riyadh Subait, Hareb Jameel Al Saadi, Hisham Al Shuaibi, Nader Awadh, Said Al Araimi, Mahmoud Al Mushaifri, Said Al Faris, Jameel Al Yahmadi, Saad Suhail Al Mukhaini, Mohammed Sheibi Al Balushi, Mohammed Al Musallami, Alabd Al Noufali, Yassin Al Shaidi, Mohsen Jawhar, Mohammed Taqi, Anwar Al Alawi, Abdulaziz Al Maqbali, Qasim Said, Juma Darwish and Basil Al Rawahi.