Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Veterans lament hockey's decline  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 16/04/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) They had seen some of the best days of hockey in Oman, the glorious decades of sixties and seventies.


Among the 35 odd veteran Omani hockey players who gathered at Park Inn Hotel on Monday night for an informal gathering, many had been part of hockey's popular days in the sultanate when it was the undisputed No 1 sport.
OHA

OHA chairman Mahfoodh al Juma (third from right) along with former chairmen H E Naif Obaid al Salami (third from left) and Dawood al Raisi (second from left)

Those were the days when the craze for football in Oman hadn't even picked up. Those were the days when thousands of fans used to brush aside the scorching summer's heat to walk miles to watch their favourite teams battle it out on dust bowls in Muttrah and Muscat, perched on hilltops and houses.


During that time, there used to be intense rivalry among teams like Shaheen, Red Flag, Union, Taki Sport, Lala, Muttrah Tuyian, Muttrah Sport, Mission Hospital, Al Ahli and Eagles. And to go with the high level of competition, fan bases used to be huge as well.


As hockey veterans from these clubs, some of them now in their late seventies, assembled for Monday's gathering as part of the Oman Hockey Association's (OHA) initiative, the common talking point among them was quite obvious - the current decline of hockey in the country.


Of course, Oman has never been a major force at the Asian level. But hockey in the sultanate did attract thousands of fans as the sport was quite aggressively pursued by many clubs till the late seventies.


The competition among teams used to look quite solid back then. There was regular participation from 15 to 18 clubs in the domestic hockey league as well as in the prestigious His Majesty's Cup. Understandably, it was no surprise when the veterans were seen expressing their deep concern over the current plight of hockey in Oman - pursued these days by as few as just seven or eight clubs.


The gathering was an initiative of the newly-formed veteran players' committee of the OHA, which is headed by former national team player and ex-Ahli-Sidab star, Mohammed Shambeh al Raisi.


Speaking to Muscat Daily, H E Naif Obaid al Salami, the first chairman of the OHA in 1983, said, ''It is a nice start, but this should have been done long ago. As former players and administrators who served the game with distinction, we are concerned about the decline of hockey. It was once the most popular sport in Oman. The OHA should take responsibility for the current state of affairs.''
Salim-Rajib

Right: Salim Rajab speaks

H E Salami, who played in the late sixties, added, ''To get all the veterans together is a nice step. The OHA can seek our experience and guidance to improve the state of the game. I am certain that hockey will regain popularity in Oman if the OHA makes a concerted effort.''


Mohammed Shambeh agrees with H E Salami, echoing the same concern. ''It was great to see veteran stars like Khamis Rajab, Qayeem Rajab, Hashim Shahdost al Balushi, Mahmood Shabaan, Ghareeb Qamber, Darwish Hamdan 'Baz', Abdulrehman Sadiq, Dawood al Raisi, Yaqoob Mirooq and Hussain Haji sitting among us. Many of them are in their late seventies. We wish to see them involved in the sport alongside the fans,'' he added.


Also present on the occasion was Antar Salim, one of the earliest hockey umpires in the sultanate, who is believed to have officiated in matches during the 1950s.


Abdulrehman Sadiq also bemoaned the decline of hockey, saying, ''Our days were simply unbelievable. There were thousands of spectators and hockey was played regularly. Now, you hardly see fans and there are not many clubs practising hockey.''


A former member of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) and the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) development and coaching committees, Mohammed Shambeh said the OHA's new committee will hold an annual tournament for veterans and could even send a team abroad. ''We will have six-a-side tournaments and matches against expatriate teams,'' he said.


Dawood al Raisi, the former OHA chief, said that during the seventies, players were willing to play anywhere as there was much more 'passion for the game' back then. ''It (the passion) is now lacking among the players,'' he said.


Mahfoodh al Juma, the OHA's current chairman, is confident of turning things around, though. ''We are keen to raise the popularity and profile of the game. There is a need for more astro-turf pitches here. Also, more and more clubs should support the game,'' he said. ''Right now, Oman has two international standard astro-turf pitches, in Muscat and Sohar. Salalah, too, has a pitch, but it is not of international standard.''


Juma added, ''Unfortunately, the clubs here are not keen on developing hockey. Most of them are only interested in football.''


H E Salami suggested the OHA should use the governor's office of Oman's various governorates to influence the clubs to start promoting hockey again.


S A S Naqvi, former Oman coach, said, ''I have been involved with hockey in Oman for the past 32 years and I believe the OHA is moving in the ri

 


Muscat Daily




  MENA News Headlines
 Sep 18 2014 - Kuwait- Foreign missions laud Humanitarian LeaderArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY Sept 17 (KUNA): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received on Wednesday heads of diplomatic missions who expressed congratulations on his ...

 Sep 18 2014 - Austrian traffic cop has crap dayArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) VIENNA: A traffic cop in Austria got more than he bargained for after a booby trap covered him head-to-toe in manure as he was trying to catch people speeding police said on ...

 Sep 18 2014 - Al-Hilal poised to make ACL finalArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) RIYADH: Al-Hilal coach Laurentiu Reghecampf has warned his players not to get ahead of themselves after they put one foot in the Asian Champions League final with a 3-0 victory ...

 Sep 18 2014 - Top-seed Kerber reaches Pan Pacific quartersArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) TOKYO: Top-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany beat Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-4 Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the $1 million Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.Kerber the ...

 Sep 18 2014 - Clashes in Bangladesh after top Islamist spared death sentenceArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) DHAKA: Bangladesh's highest court on Wednesday commuted the death sentence on a top Islamic preacher triggering angry protests by both his Islamist supporters and secular ...

 Sep 18 2014 - China's Xi makes maiden India visit seeking to reset tiesArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) AHMEDABAD India: India's new prime minister rolled out the red carpet for Xi Jinping in his hometown Wednesday as the Chinese president began a maiden visit with Asia's rival ...

 Sep 18 2014 - Nigeria hunts bank worker over 39 million cyberfraudArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) LAGOS: Nigeria's anti-graft agency said it was hunting a 38-year-old bank worker on Wednesday for allegedly stealing $38 million from his employers by hacking into computer ...

 Sep 17 2014 - Kuwait Stock Exchange Closes on Green NoteQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Main indices of the Kuwait Stock Exchange ended trading Wednesday in the green zone with the weighted, the price, and the KSX 15 indices up by 1.39, 14.07, and 5.63 points ...

 Sep 17 2014 - HE Assistant FM Receives Copy of Vietnamese Ambassador's CredentialsQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) HE Assistant Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi on Wednesday received a copy of the credentials of Nguyen Hoang as ambassador of the Socialist ...

 Sep 17 2014 - HE Prime Minister Meets Chubu Electric Power ChairmanQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) HE Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani on Wednesday met with Toshio Mita, chairman of Chubu Electric Power company on the occasion of ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help