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Oman cries foul at Gulf Cup over UAE match.

by Gautam Viswanathan, [email protected] Defender Mohammed Ahmed came on for the last 10 minutes of the UAE's 1-0 win over Oman on December 22, despite picking up a red card in a previous game he had played for the UAE against Uzbekistan.

Muscat: Oman's Football Association (OFA) has requested the Fdration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to award them a victory in the opening match of the 2017 Arabian Gulf Cup, as their opponents, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), allegedly fielded an 'ineligible 'player. Defender Mohammed Ahmed came on for the last 10 minutes of the UAE's 1-0 win over Oman on December 22, despite picking up a red card in a previous game he had played for the UAE against Uzbekistan in an international friendly on November 14, 2017. The OFA has sent an official letter to FIFA asking it to overturn the game in their favour, with Dr Jassim Al Shukaili, second vice-chairman of the OFA, clarifying the same in his nation's pre-match press conference ahead of the game against hosts Kuwait on December 25. "The Oman Football Association has sent a letter to the technical committee to inform them of the participation of a suspended player in the UAE national team in a match with our national team on December 22, 2017," he said.

"The letter of notification was rejected by the technical committee as a "protest" which was submitted after the legal period ended," added Al Shukaili. "After receiving the technical committee's response, the association sent a letter to the FIFA, clarifying the details of the matter and are awaiting FIFA's response." An Ali Mabkhout penalty midway through the first half saw Oman lose their opener. However, should FIFA choose to overturn the result, Oman will likely be awarded a 3-0 win and climb to the top of the group. "With reference to the above cited match played in Kuwait as part of the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup 2017, we would like to bring to your kind attention that player Mohammed Ahmed (jersey no. 23) who played in the said match had got a red card during the International 'A' friendly match, UAE vs Uzbekistan, played in UAE on November 14, 2017," read the OFA statement, signed by Said Othman Al Bulushi, general secretary and CEO of the OFA. "As per the FIFA Disciplinary Code Article 38/2/g, the player has to serve a one-match suspension in the next friendly match, failing which FIFA Disciplinary Code Article 55/2 has to take effect," noted the statement, which was addressed to Fatma Samoura, FIFA general secretary. "Therefore, we request FIFA to forfeit the match played on December 22 with a final score of 1-0." The FIFA Disciplinary Code 38/2/g, states, "Match suspensions in relation to an expulsion pronounced on a player outside of a competition (separate matches) or not served during the competition for which they were intended (elimination or the last match in the competition) are carried over as follows - friendly matches: Carried over to the representative team's next friendly match." It should be noted that the Gulf Cup, however, is a competitive tournament organised by the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation, even if it is not recognised as such by the FIFA. Al Ain defender Ahmed was a half-time substitute for Khaleefa Mubarak Ghanim against the Uzbeks, and after receiving the first yellow card after 69 minutes, was sent off in the fifth minute of stoppage time after being shown the yellow card a second time. In light of the OFA's letter to the FIFA, former Leicester City and Morocco international goalkeeper Chuck Martini hoped the rules would be properly enforced in this situation. "I think they are within their rights to lodge a complaint, because these are the rules, and you have to abide by them," said Martini, who currently runs the Muscat Football Academy in Oman. "I do hope they get this result overturned. The UAE should know the rules going into the tournament and by all means, the laws are set up for teams to follow, and if you overlook them or break them, then you are going to be punished. "I definitely see that Oman is in its rights to make the complaint and get this result overturned," added Martini, who represented his team at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States. "I felt they were unlucky in the game because they were more attacking and looked the better team, although they had no real potency up front. Oman stands a very good chance of progression, should the result be overturned, so let's hope for the best," he emphasised. Fans of the Oman national team are also with the OFA. "If this is true, then the result is a calamity, and I salute the OFA for what they are doing, and will raise my hat to FIFA if they help us recover the points, and assume that they first made a big mistake," remarked Abdullah Al Kharussi. Fahm Nasser Al Kasebi added, "People who are saying the OFA are trying to cover up for their weaknesses are forgetting the past. We have previously beaten teams such as Qatar, so cut us some slack." "Dr Jassim is an understanding and cultured human being, and he is asking for the rights of the national team," added Shakhboot, another fan. "We have the right to ask for what is rightfully ours."

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Dec 25, 2017
Words:914
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