OHA LIFTS BAN ON SEEB

Mus­cat-based club was banned for one sea­son fol­low­ing an as­sault on um­pire dur­ing Su­per Cup

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

It was ex­actly four months ago that the in­fa­mous Su­per Cup hockey match be­tween Seeb and Al Nasr took place at the Sul­tan Qa­boos Sports Com­plex.

March 30 went down as a night of shame as play­ers from Seeb, Oman's pre­mier club, as­saulted an um­pire in front of a gath­er­ing that in­cluded top of­fi­cials of the Asian Hockey Fed­er­a­tion (AHF) and In­ter­na­tional Hockey Fed­er­a­tion (FIH).

The brawl forced the game to be called off two min­utes from time as Seeb re­fused to com­plete the match in protest.

Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, the Oman Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion (OHA) banned the club for a sea­son, and or­dered sus­pen­sion of vary­ing terms to the Seeb coach and the guilty play­ers.

How­ever, the OHA made a U-turn last week as it lifted the sea­son-long ban on Seeb.

Mo­hammed al Amri, the OHA vice-chair­man, con­firmed that the ban on Seeb has been lifted. Speak­ing to Mus­cat Daily on Sun­day, “The OHA board met last Wed­nes­day and has de­cided to lift the ban on Seeb Club. The club has a long his­tory of pro­mot­ing the game and the mem­bers felt that it would be harsh to con­tinue with the sea­son-long a ban on the club.

“How­ever, the one-year sus­pen­sion of the club's coach, Khalid al Raisi, and the three-year ban on the club's re­serve goal­keeper, Ibrahim al Hasani, ac­cused of the as­sault on the um­pire has not been lifted.”

Three other Seeb play­ers - Mo­hammed al Lawati, Al Mu­tas­sim al Raisi and Mo­hammed al Hasani - have al­ready served their three-month bans.

Amri said, “With not many clubs play­ing hockey in the sul­tanate, the ab­sence of Seeb from the do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tions for a sea­son would have left a big void. In the larger in­ter­est of the game, the OHA has lifted the ban on Seeb.”

Yousuf al Wa­haibi, the Seeb Club vice-pres­i­dent, said, “We wel­come the lift­ing of the ban. The club has been in the fore­front in pro­mot­ing hockey in Oman. We are one of the few clubs in Oman to have an as­tro-turf pitch in the club and have also plans to start an hockey academy. The club has a glo­ri­ous his­tory with a record 11 His Majesty's Cup ti­tles.”

Amri said that in all like­li­hood Seeb's first ma­jor out­ing af­ter the lift­ing of the ban will be the HM's Cup which is ex­pected to be­gin in Oc­to­ber.

With the do­mes­tic league al­ready over in April and Seeb de­cid­ing not to take part in the youth league, it will be the HM's Cup ti­tle that Seeb will look to de­fend af­ter win­ning for a record 11th time last year.

The brawl dur­ing the Su­per Cup is not the first time that Oman hockey has seen such a be­hav­iour. Do­mes­tic games are re­plete with in­stances of un­ruly be­hav­iour from play­ers and fans mar­ring matches.

Even in­ter­na­tional events haven’t been spared, with in­ci­dents rock­ing Oman’s cam­paign at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan and the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. In Doha, Oman’s Hos­sam Has­san was banned for as­sault­ing a ri­val player with a stick dur­ing a match against Bangladesh.

The OHA board met last Wed­nes­day and has de­cided to lift the ban on Seeb Club

Mo­hammed al Amri, OHA vice-chair­man

A file photo of the brawl that took place dur­ing the Su­per Cup be­tween Seeb and Al Nasr at the Sul­tan Qa­boos Sports Com­plex on March 30

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