A salary cap for club-level players will be introduced by the Oman Football Association (OFA) when it launches the country's first professional league season in September this year, according to a top OFA functionary.
Ahmed al Habsi, who is a senior OFA board member and the head of the competitions committee, has said that a three-tier salary system has been planned for the players, which will be based on the club players' experience in international football.
Habsi told Muscat Daily, “On June 22, the OFA will hold a meeting on this issue. On that day, the upper and lower limits of the salaries for the players will be discussed and could even be finalised, if required.”
"The players and their salaries will be divided into three tiers. The Oman senior team regulars will be in the top bracket while those in the senior team reserves and non-regulars will be kept in the second pool. All other domestic players will be listed in the third tier.”
According to Habsi, the salary cap will help the local clubs manage their budgets for the professional league in a practical way.
He added that the Ministry of Sports Affairs and the OFA will together financially assist the clubs and guide them on this issue.
Also, the OFA's professional league committee has offered a few suggestions aimed at improving the standard of football at the domestic level in Oman.
Haroon al Bartmani, the OFA's director of technical development and also the Oman Olympic team's goalkeeping coach, said, “We are not in favour of local clubs hiring foreign goalkeepers during the first few seasons of the new league. We have enough talented goalkeepers here in Oman. We want Omani keepers to play in our professional league.”
According to Bartmani, the professional league committee wants to cut down on the number of foreign players hired by Omani clubs from the current limit of four to three.
He said, “Some clubs want to hire four foreigners. But we want to push local talent and our suggestion is to limit the number of overseas players to three, which should include at least one Asian player. A decision on this will be taken soon.”