By: Ashok Purohit

The Buraimi Sports Complex is set to become the third ‘A’ class stadium in the sultanate as it hosts its maiden international football friendly between Oman and world No 6 Uruguay on Monday.

The match kicks off at 6.30pm. Oman’s two existing ‘A’ class stadiums are the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex and the Seeb Sports Stadium. The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Special Mission Team had recently visited the venue in Buraimi, which is already serving as the home ground for Al Nahda Club, the Omantel Professional League’s (OPL) defending champion.

The visiting AFC delegation, headed by Steve Kim, had expressed satisfaction over the facilities in the Buraimi complex as well as the pitch of the stadium that was built by the Ministry of Sports Affairs. Sheikh Shabib al Hosni, the chief executive of the OPL, told Muscat Daily on Sunday, “The Buraimi Sports Complex is ready to host our national team’s match tomorrow.”

“As it is the home ground of Al Nahda, it is critical for us to meet the necessary requirements to be categorised as an ‘A’ class stadium for club-licensing purposes of the defending OPL champion. “We still need to submit some pending documents, but we are sure that Buraimi will be granted the ‘A’ class status. A formal notification will be made by the AFC in the coming week,” said Hosni.

During the AFC team’s visit to the venue in Buraimi from September 24-28, Kim had told Muscat Daily, “It’s a brand new stadium and we can see that it can be an ‘A’ class stadium, with just a few more improvements. We need to receive some photos and pending documents from the OFA and the OPL body by October 17 so that we can verify the stadium’s status.”