MUSCAT: The news of a 29-year-old footballer who died during the warm-up on Wednesday has left everyone devastated and heartbroken, a top Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth said.
Mukhaled Al-Raqadi, who plays for Muscat FC collapsed on the field during the warm-up and died after being taken to hospital hours before his team’s match against Al Suwaiq FC in the in the sixth round of the Omantel Football League.
Speaking to The Arabian Stories, His Excellency Basil Al Rawas, Undersecretary for Sports and Youth said health and well-being of players is of primary importance and the ministry is working on developing a program on safety. “We are devastated and heartbroken hearing the news. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
“We are working on programs in occupational health and safety for players and it will soon be implemented,” he added.
Soon after the news broke out, football fans urged the Oman Football Association (OFA) to prioritise player safety. “We anticipated this happening. There are no proper medical facilities during a match. When will they learn? It’s time the OFA wakeup,” said Khamis Al Balushi, a top sports journalist.