On Thursday 13 March 2008 at Home of FIFA in Zurich, FIFA
President Joseph S. Blatter welcomed AFC President Mohamed Bin
Hammam and an Oman Football Association (OFA) delegation led by
President Sayyid Khalid Hamad Hamoud Al-Busaidi and General
Secretary Taha Suliman Al-Kishry for a discussion of various
topics. Also present were FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke and
FIFA Director of International Relations Jerome Champagne.
Sayyid Khalid Hamad Hamoud Al-Busaidi was elected President of the Oman Football Association on 31 August 2007. The multi-talented business leader, who studied at Oxford University and took an MBA in London, boasts plentiful previous experience in the world of football administration. Between 1986 and 1988 he was vice-president of the successful Fanja Sports Club, before helping guide the club to a variety of trophies as President from 1988 to 1991.
After his conversation with Blatter, the OFA President made time for an interview with FIFA.com.
FIFA.com: Your Excellency, what has brought you to the Home of FIFA?
Sayyid Khalid Hamad Hamoud Al-Busaidi: My vision is to promote continuous development of the game in Oman over the coming years. We consider it important to strengthen our relationship with FIFA and the AFC and explore how we can maximize the mutual benefit. I am very happy to be here today. We have had an excellent conversation, during which I explained my ideas. Football plays a weighty role in our nation, as our people love the sport. Football is very important for our development in every respect. The task now is to lead Omani football to the next level.
How satisfied are you with the development of the game in Oman?
Our national teams have performed well in the past, but there is still plenty to do, especially in terms of the grass roots, but also in the regional and professional leagues. We are working very closely with FIFA, seeking the optimal benefits from the Goal programme and the FAP program, to ensure we continue our development in an even more structured and systematic way. Furthermore, we are working closely with the AFC within the "Vision Asia" project.
Your national team fell 1-0 to Bahrain in their first qualifier for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. How confident are you of still progressing to the finals?
Naturally, qualifying is our target, but you can never say what might happen in football. Our initial goal is a place in the next round, and this is where all our efforts are focused. Unfortunately, we lost our first match against Bahrain, but everything is still possible. We still have five group matches to play. We'll give everything we have to take as many points as possible from these five games.
What would be the significance of Oman qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup?
Qualifying for the World Cup finals is our greatest dream. We're working as hard as we can to realise that.