Oman’s Al Habsi ruled out of Asian Cup, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Oman’s Al Habsi ruled out of Asian Cup

Oman captain and goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi has been ruled out of next month's Asian Cup due to injury, the Oman Football Association said on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old picked up a knock playing for Al Hilal against Al Ahli in the Saudi Premier League on Friday.

"It is the worst possible feeling when an injury deprives you of the chance to represent the national team. However, I have full confidence in my team mates," Al Habsi, capped 120 times, wrote on Twitter.

Al Habsi's injury is a blow for reigning Gulf Cup champions Oman, who are unbeaten in 2018 heading into the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates starting on Jan 5.

Coach Pim Verbeek has called up Ammar Al Rashidi as a replacement for Al Habsi, who has English Premier League experience with Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic, in his squad who are training in Abu Dhabi.

Oman start their Group F campaign against Uzbekistan in Sharjah on Jan 9 before facing four-time winners Japan on Jan 13.

Oman, who will be making their fourth Asian Cup appearance, end their group phase with an encounter with Turkmenistan on Jan 17. - REUTERS