The opening matchday of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 commenced with a press conference in which the media were addressed by FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Beach Soccer Committee Chairman and FIFA Executive member Marco Polo Del Nero, Tournament director Joan Cusco, Tahitian Football Federation President Thierry Ariiotima and Local Organising Committee President Vairani Davio.

Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
On future FIFA events in Oceania
This is the first time in the Pacific Region that a World Cup has been organised and we believe that the transformation has reached such a level that we will be able to organise other FIFA events in the region. Maybe we could have a Futsal World Cup because the infrastructure requirements could be easily met.

The evolution of Beach Soccer
To give you an idea about the evolution of beach soccer, for the next editions in 2015 or 2017 we have received more than ten applications for hosting. From the east to the west the world is more and more interested in this sport. For FIFA it is a tool for development because there is no other way to develop the best players in the world without youth programmes. And it procures some social benefits as well of course.

FIFA’s assistance to African nations
As part of FIFA’s decision to organise a World Cup in South Africa, lots of thing have been done for and with Africa, lots of development programmes, artificial fields, technical clinics, and so on. Today the big issue is making sure that African players can remain in their own countries, and with that in mind we should look to create more professional leagues and give a dream to young Africans not to go straight on a plane for Europe. There are a few professional leagues in Africa, maybe five or seven, and we are working on this issue.

Marco Polo Del Nero, FIFA Beach Soccer Committee Chairman and FIFA Executive member
Thank you to the LOC for the great organisation achieved so far. I appreciate the high level of work done to make sure the competition will be a success. We had the Beach Soccer Committee meeting yesterday [Tuesday] where all areas were covered, and I am happy to report that everything seems to be ready for the kick-off which is very good news for me as the Chairman. I am now looking forward to enjoying the matches and seeing the evolution of the game in general.