The excitement was palpable as the opening press conference of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Dubai 2009 got underway in the shadow of an impressive, purpose-built beach soccer stadium that can accommodate nearly 6,000 spectators including 600 VIPs.
Joan Cusco, FIFA Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee
On the show that is to come
The stadium is a fantastic venue. All the teams have arrived. They are all ready, they have all trained. We have prepared everything to make (this event) very successful. The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will be a great success in Dubai. The LOC has done a fantastic job. The facilities that we have here, we have never had before. The people who are here – all the players that will be playing – they are extremely good players with amazing skills. Now, the players that we have, they are professional players training in beach soccer all year long. And they are ready to put on the best show ever seen in this sport. This is what makes me confident of what will happen here as of tomorrow: the best beach soccer event ever.
Yussuf Mohamad Abdullah, UAE Football Association General Secretary
On the Dubai Sports Council and FIFA
On behalf of the UAE Football Association, we welcome everybody to this tournament. To host this event, to host a (FIFA) World Cup means that FIFA and the world trust us and know the level of hosting here. Thank you to his highness, the Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Sports Council Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his support of sports in general, this sport in particular and all the efforts to increase the popularity of this tournament. We all (continue to) work together to improve this sport, to make it a popular sport throughout the UAE. A special thank you to the Dubai Sports Council and FIFA for their trust and thank you to everybody, especially the spectators, who support this event.
Salah Tahlak, LOC Tournament Director
On the collaborative effort that hosting entails
Most welcome to Dubai and to the UAE. I hope that you will enjoy the hospitality of the tournament and the hospitality of the UAE. We are very blessed by the visit of his highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and the chairman of the Dubai Sports Council yesterday. He was very pleased and he asked me to extend his warm welcome to everyone – the players, officials, supporters and journalists who came from all over the world to be here in Dubai. I am also very pleased that this tournament is going to be viewed by more than 150 countries worldwide.
Two years ago when this event was given to Dubai, we were very pleased, but we were also under pressure. But when we make a commitment, we have to deliver. I think we have delivered. Of course, this is with the support of the football federation, the Dubai Sports Council and especially our LOC members. They have done a great job. I would like to also wish my best to the UAE team, especially our captain, and a special thanks to coach Marcelo Mendes. I wish you guys all the best and that this tournament is going to be something special for the UAE and Dubai especially. I want everyone here from all over the world to enjoy the tournament, enjoy Dubai and enjoy the UAE.
Dr. Khalid Al Zahed, LOC Deputy Tournament Director
On the ease of getting to the competition
I would like to thank the local press and the international press for giving very special support to this event. I want to ensure that everyone knows that there are 2,000 parking places beside Jumeirah Beach Park where (those interested in watching the games) can park their car, take the water bus; it is as smooth as possible. In twenty minutes you will be in the middle of the stadiums, here at the center of the event. Taking the water transport is the easiest way to get here. You just park your car in the huge parking area and come to the event. You have 2,000 parking slots that are just opposite the Dubai Police College and there are free shuttle busses that will bring you to the stadium - and it is all for free. Even riding the water busses is free and the first few days of the event are free. These are things that the LOC and FIFA decided to do to help make it easy for people to get to this great event. Join us.