For three days in mid-October, 11 member associations gathered in Nassau, Bahamas, to attend a regional seminar for Beach Soccer development organised by FIFA. Led by FIFA Instructor Ross Ongaro, and with CONCACAF representative Colin Klass and Beach Soccer Worldwide representative Josep Ponset, the three-day workshop’s principal objective was to provide both Beach Soccer technical and administrative representatives with the tools to develop and/or launch Beach Soccer. The seminar ended with the organisation of a Beach Soccer festival, this event being the opportunity for the participants to analyse both the technical and organisational sides of a festival.
Represented during the seminar, along with hosts Bahamas, were the federations from Anguilla, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, St Kitts & Nevis, Turks & Caicos and the USA.
In October and November, FIFA courses were organised in five different continents, starting with coaching courses in Spain, Iraq and Niger, refereeing courses in Mexico, Japan and Madagascar, and two combined coaching and refereeing course in Yemen and Tahiti. In these courses, up to 30 coaches or referees get to learn from FIFA instructors such as Ramiro Amarelle, Angelo Schirinzi or Tim Weyland, among others, not only on the theory in their respective fields, but also on their experience at the highest level.
In Tahiti, a very successful course on both coaching and refereeing was organised with five member associations represented. FIFA Instructor Angelo Schirinzi, vice-winner of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2009 (both as coach and player), praised the participants and expects concrete outcomes from the activity. “The course was an excellent preparation for the OFC qualifiers for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2011 in Italy,” he said.
Beach Soccer all over the world
In October, Lokomotiv Moscow went home from Anapa, on the border of the Black Sea, with the Russian national title, beating defending champions Strogino in the finals. Egor Shaykov from Lokomotiv and pivot for the Russian national team scored 12 goals, earning the top scorer award for the tournament.
Later that month in Bahrain, the Oman national squad won the Beach Soccer competition at the GCC Beach Games, a regional competition involving six nations from the Persian Gulf (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar).
In November, in Brazil, Espirito Santo vanquished Sao Paulo to claim the national title, their fourth championship already. Among the winners, Brazilian national player Bruno Malias was voted MVP.
“I am really surprised by the tactical aspects of Beach Soccer. It is like a game of chess,” Mathew Green, Turks & Caicos Football Federation
“Beach Soccer gives a member association an opportunity to go into other brands of football, and a better opportunity to enter or even host a FIFA World Cup,” Lennie Lake, St Kitts & Nevis Football Federation
Looking forward to...
Winter is upon the northern hemisphere, but in South America, the summer is only starting, and Beach Soccer is continuously played. This December, the Peruvian association will host a coaching and refereeing combined course. On the competitions side, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualifier for CONCACAF will take place in Puerto Vallarta from 1 to 5 December, followed by the second edition of the Asian Beach Games in Muscat.