Muscat: The International Hockey Federation (FIH), in a rare gesture, has officially recognised the efforts being made by various individuals in developing the game of hockey in the Sultanate.
And to express the world body's approval, the FIH has sent letters of appreciation, all personally signed by FIH chief Leandro Negre and Asian Hockey Federation CEO Tayyab Ikram, to many individuals for their involvement and contribution for the grow of hockey in the country.
Heading that list are Indian Ambassador J. S. Mukul and Oman Hockey Association (OHA) chief Mahfoodh Ali Juma Al Juma, both of whom are honoured for promoting hockey.
The FIH also sent an appreciation letter to SAS Naqvi, a former coach of Oman national hockey team who has dedicated his life for the development of hockey.
"It's a good gesture from the FIH. It shows the world body has been closely following how hockey is being developed here in Oman," OHA General Secretary Redha Taqi Al Lawati, another recipient of FIH certificate, said.
"It also indicates to how much people in Oman love hockey and how they have been working hard for the development of the game," he said.
"We are fortunate to have some very staunch hockey lovers among the Asian expatriate communities and we have to recognise their contribution to hockey here in Oman. They are playing a vital role in development of the game," he said.
"The success of tournaments like the recent Indian Independence Day Hockey Festival is a case in point. The matches played during that festival gave an opportunity for Omanis and expats to play against each other and we at the OHA believe it is good for the Sultanate's hockey."
"We have to thank (SAS) Naqvi (the former Oman coach) and his team as well as the Indian Embassy, sponsors and various individuals for supporting and hosting such tournaments," the OHA official added.
The others honoured with FIH certificates are APS Chauhan (for supporting hockey), Head of Chancery at Indian Embassy, OHA General Secretary Redha Taqi and OHA Technical Advisor Mohie Saad Al Zaghlool (hockey official), Belu Kuttappa and Osama Rawat (for organising hockey events), Al Omaniya Financial Services CEO Aftab Patel, Khimji Group's Kanak Khimji and Madhu Jesrani (for sponsoring and promoting hockey).