Côte d'Ivoire will be making their second appearance at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, having first qualified for the 2009 edition in Dubai. Their stay in the United Arab Emirates was short-lived though, as they finished third in their group, behind Japan and Spain but ahead of El Salvador after beating the Central American side 7-6 in their opening match.
Having clearly determined their goal ahead of the qualifying tournament in Morocco - securing the ticket for Tahiti - the Ivorians had a tough task ahead of them as they were drawn into a group with four-time FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finalists Nigeria, as well as north African giants Egypt and up-and-coming Libya. A 4-1 in their opening group game against Egypt saw Jean Soro's side off to a flying start. They then had to dig deep in their second game to come back from being 3-0 down against Libya, before securing a 5-4 win. Côte d'Ivoire beat Nigeria by the same score to top the group and then qualified for the World Cup after beating the hosts Morocco with their third 5-4 win in a row. Although they were beaten 4-1 in the final by Senegal, they had achieved their main objective.
Coach Jean Soro is confident that his side will not be on the French Polynesian island to simply make up the numbers and is quietly tipping them to make a splash. "We hope to reach the second round, which we could not do during the World Cup in 2009. If we make it to the second round, any positive result that follows will be a bonus." Unlike most other African countries, Côte d'Ivoire has a functioning beach soccer league and Soro is hoping it will boost the side's chances in Tahiti. "Our preparations have been focused on reinforcing the actual roster," he said.