The newly-formed national team travelled to Morocco for a blind training camp and games.
Blind football in Oman hit a huge milestone as the national team made its international debut during their joint training camp and games with Morocco.
The training camp and games, held from 25th January to 2nd February in Tamara, featured joint training sessions for players from both nations; workshops for coaches and referees; and ended with two friendly matches.
Oman lost the first came against the reigning African champions 4-1, but narrowed the scoreline in the latter game by only losing 2-0. Oman’s captain Khamiss Assalti, who scored his country’s first international goal, said:
“I am very surprised at the level of blind football in Morocco and tt has been an honour to represent Oman in our first international experience.”
Caption: the team receives some advice from a coach.
National team head coach and former Moroccan goalball player Youness Khabati decided to choose Morocco for Oman’s debut not only because of the level of blind football but also the similarities in culture and language. As he explained:
“Morocco has a good technical framework that we can follow. I accomplished all my goals in this camp: working out my players; friendly matches against an experienced nation; and training coaches, referees, goalkeepers and guides.”
Caption: Moroccan Goalkeeper Samir Bara passing on his knowledge to the Oman Goalkeeper.
Following a successful tournament, the Oman Paralympic Committee and Moroccan Royal Federation for the Sport and Disabled signed an agreement to continue working together to develop blind football in both countries, which will bolster Youness and the Oman National Paralympic Committee’s targets for blind football in the country:
“Our next steps are to organise the first blind football national championships, host a training camp with Morocco in Oman, and participate in an international tournament to prepare for our debut in the IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships,” he added.
Caption: the Oman national blind football team poses for a team photo.
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Caption: action picture from one of the matches.