In 2008, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will be leaving
Brazil's Copacabana beach for the first time ever and will
instead be staged in Marseilles, France, from 17 to 27 July, with
16 teams competing in the fourth edition of this event. Football
action on beaches around the world begins next week when the first
of five qualifying tournaments kicks off in Durban, South Africa.
Further qualifiers in the AFC, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and UEFA regions
- AFC - The qualifying tournament in the Asian zone
will take place in Dubai from 6 to 10 May, where the United Arab
Emirates will be hosting the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2009. The
teams participating in the qualifiers have yet to be announced.
Three teams will qualify for the final competition.
- CAF - Eight African teams, including South Africa,
Egypt, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Senegal, Nigeria, Mozambique and Côte
d'Ivoire will be competing for two berths in the finals in
Durban, South Africa, from 25 to 30 March.
- CONCACAF - 2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
runners-up Mexico, together with Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador
and the USA, will compete for two places in the finals in a
qualifying tournament in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from 16 to 20
- CONMEBOL - Seven teams, namely 2006 and 2007 FIFA
Beach Soccer World Cup champions Brazil as well as Argentina,
Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela will participate in
qualifiers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 23 to 27 April, with
three places in the finals available.
- OFC - The Oceania Football Confederation has
nominated the Solomon Islands as the region's representative at
the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2008. The Solomon Islands also
qualified for the two previous editions of the competition.
- UEFA - 24 European teams will be participating in
the qualifying event in Benidorm, Spain, from 13 to 18 May:
Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, England,
Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia,
Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia,
Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine. Four places in the finals
As the host side, France are automatically qualified and will be
hoping to repeat their 2005 triumph when they lifted the
sport's coveted World Cup title in the inaugural tournament. In
addition, local fans will be hoping their beach soccer team can
emulate the French team who clinched the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ on
The final draw for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2008 in
Marseilles will take place in Benidorm after the last UEFA
qualifying match on 18 May.
Extensive coverage of the qualifiers and final competition of
the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2008 will once again be available
on the tournament's official website
http://www.fifa.com/ and will
include match schedules, results, standings, team profiles, reports
and other information.