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Oman Hockey Association in turmoil after senior officials resign.

by T.K. MOHANDOSS / sportseditor@timesofoman.com Mohammed Redha Al Lawati

Muscat: Going by the recent developments, hockey, the oldest sport Sultanate of Oman had adopted, is passing through a tough phase.

It's better to say Oman hockey is in turmoil, especially after a spate of resignations, which has shaken up the governing body.

Of late, the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) and its chairman Sheikh Mahfoodh Ali Juma Al Juma have been under fire and the last general assembly held on March 29 took an ugly turn, most importantly the non approval of the financial and technical reports.

Soon after the March 29 meeting OHA vice-chairman Sheikh Saif Al Rahbi sounded his resentment over the functioning style of the board and tendered his resignation.

This act of the vice-chairman triggered many more resentments and very recently general secretary Mohammed Redha Taqi Al Lawati submitted his resignation letter to OHA chairman Mahfoodh Juma.

"The prevailing conditions in OHA and its continuous ignorance to the resentment and the problems has forced me to take this decision," said Mohammed Redha, in an exclusive chat with Times Sport.

"During the March 29 general assembly, 21 of the 24 registered clubs, had put forth many points, but none of them were taken seriously," said the OHA general secretary.

In his resignation letter Mohammed Redha has said the majority of the clubs have expressed displeasure on the function of the board.

"The decisions taken by the board are not unanimous but driven by individual instincts, which is proving harmful for the game," he said.

"Another aspect harming Oman hockey is the increasing expenditure without any checks when the government has requested all associations to cut down on over spending," he noted.

The causalities of these squabbles were the hosting of World Hockey League, which the FIH had shifted to Turkey, and the forthcoming AHF Under-18 Tournament.

No interference

With the situation appearing to go out of hands, sources at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) have said that there will be no interference as of now.

"FIH and AHF will not interfere in any of the OHA internal matters. Let them resolve it following their own constitution," the source said.

Meanwhile, it was also confirmed by the source that the OHA expressed unwillingness in hosting the Asian under-18 tournament.

General Assembly

The OHA turmoil has also led to yet another General Assembly on May 25, according to Mohammed Redha.

"All the grievances will be addressed during this meeting," he said adding there is a strong possibility of the formation of an interim committee, which will hold fort until the next elections.

The OHA elections are due by October end or early November and Mohammed Redha did not deny or confirm whether he will contest again.

"I don't have personal ambitions but if majority of clubs back me I may think about it. For now I am out of it," he said.

He was also unhappy with the dwindling number of clubs representing in the His Majesty's Cup and the National League.

"Under OHA there are 24 clubs and in national tournaments only six to eight teams participate," he lamented.

It is indeed true. Once a major force in the sporting arena the popularity of hockey has decreased beyond imagination.

It is believed that the next elections will revive the fortunes of hockey in the Sultanate.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:May 14, 2016
Words:578
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