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Al Habsi accepts Wigan decision to block Oman call

Ali Al Habsi is putting Wigan Athletic ahead of international football with Oman.

Al Habsi was wanted by his country, Oman, for their defence of the Gulf Cup, which kicked off yesterday in Yemen.

But having slipped into the bottom three and with a massive six-pointer at West Ham up next, Latics have insisted the big man stays put.

Although gutted at missing out on representing his country, Al Habsi - who was voted 'Best Goalkeeper' at the past four Gulf Cups - admits it's for the best.

He told the Wigan Evening Post: "To be honest, my mind and heart is over there with my country, and I wish them all the best.

"It is a big competition, with millions of people watching on TV.

"But I have made my decision and I want to concentrate all my attention on Wigan, because this is my team now.

"It would have been hard to fly back home for the tournament and then come back here and hope to keep my place.

"I'll have to make do with watching on TV, but hopefully Oman can do well without me - and we are the reigning champions.

"As soon as I have finished training I'll be straight off home to watch the games and cheer them on."

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