Sports


Shura to quiz OFA boss on Gulf Cup exit


The team posing for a photo.

Muscat: Oman's recent disappointing performance in the ongoing 21st edition of Gulf Cup Football Championship in Bahrain has infuriated fans and citizens alike. The wave of anger was also palpable during the first annual meeting of Majlis Al Shura held under the auspices of its chairman Khalid bin Hilal Al Ma'awali.

The Majlis Al Shura, according to one of its members Sultan Al Abri, has decided to seek an explanation from the Oman Football Association (OFA) Chairman Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi on two counts during the next sittings — the first on the disappointing performance of the national football team, which exited from the Gulf Cup without winning a single match, and the second on the 'suspected' financial irregularities in the OFA.

Sunday's sitting approved the hearing, requested by some members, addressed to the Minister of Sports Affairs in the presence of the Chairman of OFA to discuss administrative and financial irregularities in the organisation, identified by the competent authorities, and to discuss the reasons for the early Gulf Cup exit.

"We have decided to question the OFA chairman in the presence of Minister of Sports Affairs on the 'suspicious' expenditures of the OFA and the shoddy performance of the national team in the Gulf Cup," the Shura member told Times of Oman.

Al Abri said: "Most of the questions were about the expenditures of the OFA and suspicious deals and irregularities that took place in the association and the invalidity of its elections."
Meanwhile, the extension of contract of Oman coach Paul Le Guen has also come under the scanner. "Shura will also open the file of the new contract, which was extended until 2016, despite the old contract still holding good for one more year," said Al Abri.

According to Oman Arabic Daily, Paul Le Guen's monthly package amounts to OMR35,000.
Other sources revealed that Le Guen had reportedly put pressure on the OFA to renew his contract before the kick-off of the Gulf Cup 21, after he got an offer from another foreign club recently. This issue has been already raised at the Majlis Al Shura during the Council of Ministers' meeting.

On Twitter
Meanwhile, on seeing the wrath of Oman football fans, Sayyid Khalid had tweeted  that he is keenly following the comments of the fans who have been critical of the poor performance of the national team.

"We have to be realistic, not sentimental in judging things by listening to the views of everyone and then judge," tweeted Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi. 

Meanwhile, former OFA chairman Saud Al Rawahi said: "With this disappointing show, Oman football has gone back to the era of the eighties and the nineties."

Said Al Busaidi, former chairman of the Oman Handball Association, on his Facebook post, said: "It's difficult to remove Sayyid Khalid from his seat as he enjoys immunity and has also good ties with the Oman Olympic Committee."

Al Busaidi also pointed out that the Ministry of Sport Affairs has recently discovered misappropriation of funds worth more than one  million Omani rials.

Meanwhile, through social networking sites like Sablat Oman and Kooraa, Facebook and Twitter, Omani fans are demanding the resignation of the OFA chairman and team coach Le Guen for the disappointing results in the Gulf Cup 21.


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