Zubair an emerging sports leader in the region, says top AHF boss
The Olympic Movement in Oman is on the right path of development and under the leadership of Khalid al Zubair, the Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) president, sports in the sultanate is capable of reaching greater heights, according to Tayyab Ikram, the CEO of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).
In his exclusive remarks to Muscat Daily on Tuesday, Ikram, who is also a member of the IOC Sport and Active Society Commission, said, “Olympic sports in Oman have been revitalised under Zubair, who has been spearheading the efforts to put Oman on the map of Olympic world. His election as an IOC member last September was a deserving honour and acknowledgment of his ongoing contribution to not just Oman but also in the region.”
Zubair was elected during the IOC Session in the Peruvian capital of Lima. He was among the eight new members elected during the session that also elected a new vice-president and three new members of its executive board.
Zubair is in his second term as the OOC chief after his previous term ended last year (2013-16).
“Zubair is emerging as an able sports leader in the region and his vision to improve the Olympic sports is commendable. I have personally witnessed the growth of Oman sports, in particular, hockey, in recent years. Thanks to the OOC chief and Talib al Wahaibi, the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) president, we now have Oman hosting three major hockey events this year.”
Ikram said, “Zubair has made significant contribution to the IOC’s objectives by adopting multi-faceted projects and programmes within OOC. It has resulted in Omani teams and individuals winning medals at Asian level.
“I have also been made aware that various Olympic associations have had deals with corporate houses to support the national teams. Also, Oman now has a Dispute Resolution and Arbitration for Sport Committee, which means that contentious issues can be resolved in Oman itself.”
The top Asian hockey official said that Zubair and his team comprising the energetic Taha al Kishry, the OOC secretary-general, have delivered and contributed a lot to Oman during the past few years.
“We have seen the results. Be it the hosting of important IOC or AHF meetings or organising top-class tournaments, Oman has done it smoothly. At the AHF, we now look forward to the success of the forthcoming 2018 Asian Games Qualifiers, featuring ten countries, in March and then the prestigious Asian Champions Trophy in October, which will feature six nations.
“These events could be made possible only because of the strong committment of the OHA and the OOC,” said Ikram.
Ikram is a member of a IOC commission that advises the IOC session, the IOC executive board and the IOC president on all the activities of the Olympic Movement that are related to using sport to improve physical activity in the population, giving access to sport as a right for all, and on engaging in sports activities with a special focus on youth.
“The Olympic Agenda 2020 reflects the fact that sport is more important in society than ever, and increasing activity and engagement in sport in society should be a key goal of governments and non-governmental agencies throughout the world. The recent event of a beach clean-up, organised by the OOC, is an example on how the Olympic Movement can work in close coordination with the society and I applaud the OOC it,” said Ikram.
Praise for OHA official
Ikram also appreciated the efforts of Shakir Munir, the international relations manager of the OHA, for playing an active role in facilitating the agreements to organise the forthcoming triangular series involving Pakistan and Japan from February 14.
“When an association has an active official, it helps in the smooth organisation and Shakir has been pro-active in correspondence with the participating nations and the AHF,” said Ikram.
Shakir is also the national team goalkeeping coach and the AHF in coordination with the FIH will host the first-ever goalkeeping coaches' course in March on the sidelines of the Asian Games Qualifiers in March.
On Monday, when the OHA and AHF signed a deal and announced the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat, OHA president Wahaibi also lauded Munir's role.
Khalid al Zubair, the OOC chairman and an IOC member
Tayyab Ikram, CEO of the AHF and a member of IOC sports commission