Al Habsi Leaves For Oman

  • December 31, 2008 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi could miss the next three games after flying out to Oman to play in the Gulf Cup.

The 27-year-old, who signed a new four-year contract on Monday, has been allowed to represent his country, but can be recalled if needed by the club.

Should Oman advance to the final of the competition, Al Habsi could miss the games against Sunderland, Arsenal and Manchester United.

Wanderers boss Gary Megson admits Al Habsi's absence will be a blow, but one which helped in the goalkeeper's contract negotiations.

"We're delighted that Ali will be staying with us and part of the agreement was that he could go and play in the Gulf Cup," Megson said.

"It isn't a FIFA date, so it is a favour to the Oman FA, and there is a stipulation that the minute we click our fingers for him to come back, he comes.

"It isn't something we'd normally agree to but sometimes you have to do these things to get to where you want to."

In Al Habsi's absence, Adam Bogdan will provide backup for Jussi Jaaskelainen.

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