The Oman Football Association (OFA) is to launch a new professional soccer league in 2013 as they bid to get their clubs to compete in the Asian Champions League for the first time.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement on Wednesday they had met with OFA vice president Salehedding Sabra last week to offer guidance on the structure of the league.
“We will launch a professional football league in Oman from the next season and by meeting the ACL criteria, we’d like to move forward to develop our professional football in the country, which will help us participate in the AFC Champions League in the end,” Sabra said.
The draw for the 2013 AFC Champions League takes place on Thursday with 35 teams in the hat from only 10 countries.
The AFC said they had held similar meetings with Malaysia Super League officials who do not currently compete in Asia’s premier club tournament.
The current 14-team Oman League began in October and runs through to May with two teams able to qualify for the AFC Cup, the second tier regional tournament.
Oman, currently coach by former French international Paul Le Guen, remain in contention to qualify for their first World Cup with three games to play in their Asian qualifying group.
Oman risked a FIFA ban earlier this year after problematic elections before Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidy was re-elected as chairman of the OFA in September.