Wigan Athletic have announced that they are off to the Gulf next week for a bit of ‘warm weather training` and at the end of it they will play a friendly against Latics keeper Ali Al-Habsi`s national side, Oman
The Latics will be in Oman from the 12th February and will play the friendly on the 17th of February in the Seeb Stadium, a delighted Al-Habsi says he is so proud to be going home with the Latics
Speaking to the Wigan Evening Post Ali said: “I am so happy and proud about the prospect of going home with Wigan Athletic”
“It will be the first time a team from England has visited Oman, which will be something special for me and for my country.
“I am the only player from the region to be playing in the Premier League, and that means Wigan Athletic are a very popular team in Oman.
“It will be slightly strange when Wigan play against Oman – I might have to have a chat with the gaffer because I wouldn`t want to play against either of my teams!
“But I`m sure the team will like everything about my country – the people, the weather, the facilities – and hopefully it will help us when we return to the Premier League.
“It`s probably the best time to go to Oman, because the temperature is around 20-25 degrees.
“With the way the weather has been over over the past week or so, it will be nice to feel a bit of sun on our backs and get down to some good training.”
The Omani FA are also quite pleased with the prospect of a Premier League side visiting their country, and one that features an Oman international is a bonus, speaking to the Latics official website Oman FA General Secretary Hazzaa al Saadi noted: ‘We are all proud of Ali and his achievements in performing so well in the English Premier League – he is a true ambassador for our country.
‘We are very happy to welcome Wigan Athletic to Oman and we are sure the people of Oman will enjoy seeing him play against Oman for once!
‘Oman football has a big month ahead with the Olympic qualifiers and the FIFA game vs Thailand at the end of the month – this game vs Wigan Athletic will the first of a very exciting 2 weeks for our fans.
‘We worked hard to deliver a good option for Wigan Athletic to come to Oman and it reflects well on the OFA and the country of Oman that they have chosen to visit.’
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