Oman Beach soccer team hit hard by unpaid bonuses: OFA official

Oman Beach soccer team hit hard by unpaid bonuses: OFA official
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Published March 27th, 2017 - 16:06 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Oman beach soccer team
Oman beach soccer team

The debacle of Oman, the 2015 Asian champion, at the recently-concluded AFC Beach Soccer Championship in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia was initially attributed to inadequate preparations by the national team coach Talib Hilal.

But that may not be the only reason according to Jassim al Shukaili, the chairman of the national teams’ committee and the vice chairman of the Oman Football Association (OFA).

Oman, a strong favourite at the Malaysia event, unexpectedly failed to get past the group stage.

In his remarks to Muscat Daily  on Sunday, a day after the issue was raised at the OFA’s annual general meeting (AGM), Shukaili said, “One of the reasons for our national team’s early exit at the Asian championship was the unpaid bonuses to the players.

“The players had been unpaid even before their historic Asian title triumph in Doha in 2015. This time, the players had threatened to walk out of the camp during the build-up to Malaysia.”

Shukaili said, “The camp had to be deferred for a couple of days to pacify the players and the new board ensured that nearly 50 per cent of the unpaid bonuses, which were between RO70,000-80,000, were paid. Only then did they begin the camp. So, this could be one of the many reasons for the team’s disappointing performance in Kuala Terengganu and its loss to Lebanon in a crucial group match.”

Oman had defeated Thailand in its opening group match to set up a do-or-die match against Lebanon in Group B that featured only three teams.

Lebanon clinched the semifinal ticket after its 4-3 comeback win over Oman. Talib’s men had struggled to get past Thailand in the opener, too, as they rallied from two goals down to win 3-2.

In his remarks, Talib said, “The unpaid bonuses did affect the morale of the players. It may not have been the only reason for our exit in Malaysia. We faltered as we did not have adequate preparations.”

The coach said “only one camp was deferred due to payment issue” and thanked the board for releasing half of the outstanding dues. “The board has tried to resolve the issue of the players and they are happy about it.”

Shukaili said that the AGM on Saturday ended on a positive note with the clubs agreeing to a 20-30 per cent cut in financial aid from the OFA in view of the current economic slowdown.

The AGM was chaired by Sheikh Salim al Wahaibi, the OFA chairman, and was attended by the representatives of all 44 clubs.

Wahaibi said they have made serious efforts to cut the outstanding dues of the OFA.

“We have managed to clear 35 per cent of the dues and will continue to manage it smoothly. We are all for financial transparency and this has helped us function properly,” said Wahaibi in his remarks at the AGM.

Shukaili said the OFA has “made lot of progress on players’ dispute with their respective clubs with regards to their salaries”.

“We have helped the clubs and the players in resolving long-standing disputes and are trying our best to streamline the financial activities in the clubs and at the association,” he said.

© Apex Press and Publishing

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