The game of course sees Latics’ custodian Ali Al-Habsi arrive in his homeland an dhe spoke about the implications of such and historic game,
“It will not only strengthen our ties with foreign football clubs but also encourage our youth to participate in the sport actively.”
“I just did my part but OFA took up this initiative very seriously and hats-off to them for hosting Wigan in a very professional manner.”
Asked against which side he would play, Al-Habsi replied,
“I don’t know from which side will I play in the friendly match tomorrow. You will have to wait and watch,” he said. He was also delighted to be able to spend some quality time with his family in Mudhaibi before returning to Wigan for the crucial game against Aston Villa.
Meanwhile, Wigan coach Roberto Martinez heaped praise on the Omani custodian. “He is a phenomenal footballer who puts his 100 per cent on the field. He is a great lad and someone whom we totally depend on,”
He also expressed his delight and admiration for the OFA stating,
“It’s going to be a very exciting experience to be in Oman especially to be in the place from where Ali comes from. Ali has opened a big market in Oman and I see that the OFA plans are huge. We are grateful to OFA for giving us the hospitality. It is our privilege to play here,”
On arrival in Oman the Latics players received a red-carpet welcome at the Muscat International Airport where they were received by top officials from OFA. Chief executive Jonathan Jackson had this to say,
“A big thanks to the OFA. Here in Muscat we would mainly focus on the training camp and the friendly against the Oman national side. Premier league according to me is the best league in the world. Maybe in future we try to spot young talents in this region.”
Wigan Athletic will be playing their third game against an International side having hosted Zambia and China since entering the Football League in 1978. This game however, brings the club’s profile onto a much bigger platform as the Blues continue going onwards and upwards in the football world.
** All quotes and the accompanying picture are taken directly from the ‘Times Of Oman’.
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