(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) A majority of clubs has asked the Oman Football Association (OFA) to convene an emergency meeting to discuss a list of the demands that include a halt onrecruitment of expatriates to work in the association.
The demand for a freeze on recruiting on foreign staff applies only to the association's administrative staff, and does not include the coaching team.
The clubs have sought discussions on a wide range of issues, primarily the OFA's financial matters, the rules, regulations and committees of the newly-launched Omantel Professional League (OPL), and the performances of various national teams. They have even asked for details of the use of rented cars by technical staff and an explanation for 'expensive accommodation' provided to expatriate staff.
The request for an 'emergency general meeting' was submitted to the OFA last week in the form of a three-page letter that lists the 17 demands and is signed by representatives of 24 of the 43 clubs under OFA.
Domestic league champion Al Suwaiq, Seeb, Fanja, Ahli-Sidab, Al Nasr, Al Khabourah, Saham, Al Bashayr, Jaalan, Bausher and Bidiyah are among the prominent clubs which have sought the meeting.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, a representative of one of these clubs said, "We have demanded that the OFA first look for Omani professionals rather than hire expatriate staff on fat salaries. They have to give good reasons to hire expatriate staff."
Sheikh Hazzaa al Saadi, OFA's general secretary and CEO, confirmed that the association has received an official request from the clubs to convene the meeting to discuss their demands.
He added that the OFA was keen to 'respect their sentiments' and is likely to hold the meeting after its board of directors meets, possibly as soon as this week, to discuss the request.
However, another club representative insisted that the OFA 'needs to respect clubs'. "The OFA should not think that clubs can be taken for a ride,'' he said. ''We need adequate answers to the points raised. The OFA top brass should understand that only if they work together with the clubs can the OPL or any other project succeed.''
The clubs' letter, a copy of which is with Muscat Daily, also seeks an explanation from OFA on the mechanism used to set up a separate OPL entity and appointment of the league's CEO without taking the association's general assembly into confidence.
The other demands include transparency in financial matters of the OFA's marketing committee and details of its sponsorship contracts with various companies.
The clubs have also questioned the role of the chairmen of various OFA committees and their contribution, details of expenses incurred on foreign travel by national teams, and funds spent on youth development projects in the sultanate.
The clubs have also accused the OFA's top management of not being cooperative and not corresponding with them regularly.
Among the other points raised are a perceived bias of the OFA towards certain clubs, the late pullout of the Olympic team from the Islamic Solidarity Games, the national team's poor show in the Gulf Cup in Bahrain in January and Oman's exit from the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
The clubs have also demanded an explanation for the recent tour by the national senior team to the UK despite the absence of eight regular players and the need for the team to be accommodated in expensive hotels during local camps when there are appropriate residential facilities at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.