x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Rabia leaves his side speechless

The Oman Football Association have banned their players from speaking to anyone outside their camp following hat-trick hero Hassan Rabia's post-match revelation that he has been offered contracts from several clubs from the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Rabea, left, celebrates his opener with Ismail al-Ajmi.
Rabea, left, celebrates his opener with Ismail al-Ajmi.

MUSCAT // The Oman Football Association have banned their players from speaking to anyone outside their camp following hat-trick hero Hassan Rabia's post-match revelation that he has been offered contracts from several clubs from the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. After the game, the forward, who plays for Omani club Suwaiq, said: "Some of the offers were before the Gulf Cup, but they want to finalise it after the game with Iraq." He didn't want to reveal any names of the clubs until after the ongoing competition.

"I haven't decided on any of the offers and I will not until after the Gulf Cup. Right now I am only focused in helping Oman to win this championship. Some of them want to speed up the process because there are many clubs interested in me. " Rabea scored a superb hat-trick as Oman crushed 10-man Iraq 4-0 to top Group A on goal difference from Kuwait who beat Bahrain 1-0. "I had a good game and it is not always you get to score three goals," Rabia added. "It was a good team effort and I wouldn't have scored if not for the opportunities created by the others. We are still not out of danger as we have to play Bahrain which is also like a final in the group phase. And even the three goals that I scored won't matter if we get eliminated. So fingers crossed."

If Kuwait beat Iraq, Oman will need at least a draw in Saturday's final group matches to secure a semi-final spot. Rabia says qualification would mean much more than his personal glory. He added: "It really doesn't matter who scores as long as we can win against Bahrain. I would be only happy to play a bigger role, either to score or assist my team win." The Oman FA said the players were distracted by transfer gossip and have kept them out of bounds until the end of the competition. Meanwhile, the Omani fans celebrated wildly in the city streets after their victory, creating heavy traffic jams for hours.

@Email:apassela@thenational.ae