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OFA, Badr Al Samaa sign partnership pact
August 29, 2013 , 10 : 54 am GST
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Steps to professionalism: OFA chairman Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi announcing the partnership as Badr Al Samaa officials and OFA staff look on. Photo – Times of Oman/ Ismail Al FarsiI
The Oman Football Association (OFA) yesterday tied up with leading medical services provided Badr Al Samaa Hospitals in a deal that will not only benefit the players of the national teams but also members of various league clubs as well as officials and employees of the Sultanate's soccer governing body.
The deal, which is being seen as a latest step in OFA's efforts to completely professionalise the country's soccer system, was inked by OFA chief Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi and three directors of Badr Al Samaa Abdul Latheef, V.T. Vinod and P.A. Mohammed during a simple ceremony organised at the OFA Headquarters.
Speaking on the occasion, Sayyid Khalid said: "We are happy to sign this major agreement with Badr Al Samaa who have a wide network of hospitals in Oman."
Revealing the details of the deal, he said: "As I said it is a major agreement and it will benefit the national teams and players as well as the employees of the association. As per this deal, the players of the national teams will now be eligible for free Fifa standard health checkups. The other key benefits of the agreement include free medical cover for the national team players, services with discount rates for the league players as well as the officials and staff of the association."
"More importantly Bard Al Samaa will be providing ambulance services, especially during the league games," he added.
Asked whether an ambulance will be available at the venue of each league match, which was not the case last season, he said: "Last season there was a problem. But we want to appreciate the efforts of Ministry of Health who have supported us so well. This year it will be different. Thanks to Badr Al Samaa's large network, we are sure there will be an ambulance at every venue on the matchday."
Badr Al Samaa director Abdul Latheef in his remarks said: "We are delighted to become a partner of Oman Football Association. We express our appreciation to the association officials and chairman Sayyid Khalid for giving us the opportunity to be associated with the Omani football family."
Echoing his views, V.T. Vinod said: "It's part of our social responsibility and we are delighted to serve Omani football and players with this deal."
A big day
Meanwhile, OFA's Head of Physiotherapy and Sports Rehabilitation Harry Brooke described it as 'big day in the medical services of Oman Football Association. I am grateful to everyone involved for making this happen. We are thankful to the OFA officials as well as Badr Al Samaa's three directors. They worked with positive attitude from the beginning."
"What was vital was Badr Al Samaa's willingness to work as a team and their professionalism. We would like to bring their medical professionalism to football," he added. "Their huge network enables us to cover medical services across the Sultanate."
OFA's Commercial and Communication Director Nic Cartright said: "Badr Al Samaa are keen to help the community and football, being a huge aspect of Omani life, provides them with a big opportunity to serve the nation. In turn Omani football and players will benefit from their wide network."
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