The Oman Football Association (OFA) has announced changes in the kick-off time and venue for the international FIFA friendly match against India.
The match on February 23 was originally scheduled to kick-off at 18.30 local time (20.00 IST) at the Seeb Stadium. But the OFA has opted to give its national side a proper preparation ahead of their final 2014 FIFA World Cup Group D qualifier against Thailand later this month.
The Oman vs Thailand match will be played simultaneously to the second Group D match between Australia and Saudi Arabia on February 29. The Australia vs Saudi Arabia match will kick off at 20.30 Australian time, which will be 13.30 Oman time. So Oman need to take on Thailand in the heat of Muscat and the OFA is willing to give Paul le Guen’s side the experience to play a competitive game at the same time and venue of the World Cup qualifier.
“We have been in touch with FIFA over the issue and they said they took the decision after studying the weather forecast. In fact, they also allowed us to negotiate with the Australian officials. But unfortunately they are not ready for any further changes as they had already sold 20,000 tickets for the match,” OFA General Secretary Hazzaa al Saadi told during a press conference.
“Coach Paul le Guen and the technical staff wanted the India match to be played at 13.30. It will help the team to undergo the experience of playing in that heat before our big match against Thailand,” al Saadi added.
Therefore, the OFA has rescheduled the Oman vs India encounter and the friendly match will now be played at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat. The kick-off will be at 13.30 local time (15.00 IST | 10.30 CET | 09.30 GMT).
The Indian national team is expected to reach Muscat on Tuesday. Savio Medeira and his squad had a few training sessions at Dubai’s “The Sevens” stadium in the last couple of days.
The Indian team is looking forward to the match against the strong Oman team. The match will be the first of three preparations matches for the Indian team ahead of the AFC Challenge Cup 20122.
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