Asian qualifiers take shape

Asia's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup hopefuls today learned their qualifying fate as the draw took place for next month's preliminary competition in Dubai. The continental tournament, which will be held in Mamzar Beach from 14 to 18 August, will see eight Asian contenders battle it out for three available slots at November's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

The man in charge of proceedings was FIFA Beach Soccer SL Head of Event Operations Fulvio Danilas, and he presided over the splitting of the eight teams into two sections, from which the top two will advance to the semi-finals. In Group A, hosts United Arab Emirates were given a tough task against defending champions Bahrain, as well as Iran, who finished third in last year's edition, and another yet to be confirmed fourth nation. Group B, meanwhile, will see the Philippines and Thailand square up against traditional eastern giants China and Japan, runners-up last time around

All are seeking to join the already qualified quartet of hosts Brazil, Africans Nigeria and Senegal, and Oceanian champions Solomon Islands.

Group A
United Arab Emirates

Group B

Match Schedule (local time GMT+4)
18.00 Japan vs China
Followed by Bahrain vs Iran
Followed by Philippines vs Thailand
Followed by United Arab Emirates vs TBC

18.00 Thailand vs Japan
Followed by TBC vs Bahrain
Followed by China vs Philippines
Followed by Iran vs United Arab Emirates

18.00 Thailand vs China
Followed by TBC vs Iran
Followed by Philippines vs Japan
Followed by United Arab Emirates vs Bahrain

20.00 Group B winner vs Group A runner-up
Followed by Group A winner vs 2 nd Group B runner-up

*the order of semi-finals may be altered by the Organising Committee

Play-off for third place and Final
Sat 18.08.07
20.00 Play-off for third place
Followed by Final