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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Oman's Sultan rewards footballers with land and cash

Oman's players celebrate in front of a portrait of Sultan Qaboos after winning the Gulf Cup of Nations 2017 final football match between Oman and the UAE at the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Stadium in Kuwait City. Yasser Al Zayyat  / AFP
Oman's players celebrate in front of a portrait of Sultan Qaboos after winning the Gulf Cup of Nations 2017 final football match between Oman and the UAE at the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Stadium in Kuwait City. Yasser Al Zayyat / AFP

Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the ruler of Oman, rewarded the national football team with cash and plots of land in appreciation for winning the Arabian Gulf Cup held in Kuwait last week.

The royal order will see prizes distributed to the 26 members of the Omani national team, coaching and technical staff.

A statement from the Omani News Agency said Sultan Qaboos rewarded the “team in appreciation for their grand accomplishment, which instilled happiness in all Omanis and residents on this dear homeland, and in recognition of their top professional performance”.

The royal order also indicated the move on Tuesday will help encourage Omanis to perform at the highest-level and “hoist high the flag of the sultanate”.

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Shaikh Saad bin Mohammed Al Saadi, the Omani minister of sports affairs, urged all organisations in Oman to work in promoting sports in the country and to draw strength from the victory.

The Gulf Cup finals saw Oman face off against the UAE on January 5 in a tense match decided in dramatic fashion through penalties.

This marks the second time Oman emerged as champions of the Gulf Cup, which has been held 23 times since 1970.

Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain cut ties with Doha on June 5 over a political dispute and threatened they would not participate in the Gulf Cup if held in Qatar.

Qatar was originally planned to host the regional competition before it was moved to Kuwait on December 10 to accommodate all eight participating nations.

Sultan Qaboos and Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed have worked as chief mediators in the worst diplomatic crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council since its formation almost 40 years ago.

The leader of Oman has a history of distributing prizes and promoting cash-bailout programmes in the Sultanate, with the most recent being a $250 million grant to help low-income earners with the increased cost of petrol.