MUSCAT Runners-up in the Second Asian Beach Games Muscat-2010, Talib Hilal coached Oman beach soccer team is eyeing a place in the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup to be hosted in Ravine, Italy, in September this year.
To make sure that the Oman team finishes in top three and qualify for the mega event from among 15 countries participating in the qualifiers, to be hosted by Oman at the Al Musannah Sports City, the venue of the Second Asian Beach Games Muscat-2010, the Sultanate team left for a training camp in Iran’s coastal city of Bandar Abbas on Saturday.
This training camp is part of the preparations for the hosts to be fully prepared for the World Cup Qualifiers to be held in Al Musannah from February 26 to March 4.
The Sultanate beach soccer team will be playing a friendly match against Iran on February 15.
As per the official information received from Fifa, a total of 15 teams are participating in the qualifiers, the largest number of teams in any beach soccer qualifier in Asia, according to Oman Football Association (OFA) press release.
The teams are hosts Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, China, Uzbekistan, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kuwait and Palestine.
The organising committee for the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup qualifiers has decided to divide the 15 teams into three groups of four and one group of three by seeding and drawing lots.
The groups will be named A B C D and the draw will be held on February 23.
The organising committee has seeded four countries A1 Oman (host country); B1 Japan (1st place in Asian Qualifier Ranking from 2006 to 2009); C1 UAE (2nd place in Asian Qualifier Ranking from 2006 to 2009) D1 Iran (3rd place in Asian Qualifier Ranking from 2006 to 2009)
The remaining 11 teams will be drawn into four groups.
Eight teams Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Palestine, Qatar, Syria and Yemen will be playing in this event for the first time.