Muscat: Coach Pim Verbeek has called up 26 players, including four stars who are plying their trade in the foreign leagues, for an internal training ahead of Oman’s Asian Cup final round qualifying match against Bhutan.
According to a press release issued by the Oman Football Association (OFA) on Wednesday, the training camp will take place at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex from March 20 to 29.
The Sultanate’s squad will be playing their first competitive match under Dutchman Verbeek when they take on Bhutan in their opening Group D match of the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers on March 28.
Omani legend Ali Al Habsi, who plays for English Championship side Reading FC, is among the four foreign-based stars who have been called up for the camp.
The other three are Mohammed Faraj Al Rawahi, who plays for Girona B in the Spain’s Primera Catalana league, Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’ of Al Markhia Club in Qatar and Khalid Al Hajri of Al Dhafra in UAE.
The rest of the probables are home based players.
In the Asian Cup final round qualifiers, Oman’s group also comprises Palestine and Maldives.
According to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the winners and runners-up from six groups -- a total of 12 teams -- will qualify for the final competition of the 2019 Asian Cup in UAE.
They will be joined by the other 12 teams, including defending champions Australia, China, Iraq, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan and hosts United Arab Emirates - who have already qualified to the finals through the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2.
Oman probables: Ali Al Habsi (Reading FC), Mohammed Faraj Al Rawahi (Girona B, Spain), Ahmed Mubarak ‘Kanu’ (Al Markhia, Qatar), Khalid Al Hajri (Al Dhafra, UAE), Fayeez Al Rasheedi (Al Nasr), Abdulaziz Al Maqbali, Mohammed Al Mashari, Saad Suhail Al Mukhaini, Basil Al Rawahi (Fanja), Abdulsalam Amer Al Mukhaini, Nadhir Bashir, Ali Al Busaidi, Raed Ibrahim, Qasim Said, Riyadh Al Alawi (Dhofar), Jameel Al Yahmadi (Al Shabab), Sami Khamis Al Hasani, Saud Al Farsi(Al Arouba), Ali Al Jabdri (Al Nahdha), Hasan Said Al Saadi, Mahmood Al Mushaifri, Hareb Al Saadi, Omar Al Fajari, Yaseen Al Shiyadi, Mohammed Al Musallami (Suwaiq), Mohsin Al Khaldi (Saham).