Top players bring joy to disadvantaged children with beach soccer clinic in Rio
© Foto-net

One of the best players from the Brazilian league (Cícero from Fluminense), Spanish beach soccer stars Amarelle and Nico and Spain's beach soccer coach Joaquín Alonso all took part in a beach soccer clinic involving 50 children from disadvantaged communities in Rio de Janeiro today, 8 November 2007. The clinic, organised by FIFA together with its Partner, adidas, was held in the stadium of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2007 on Copacabana beach, where the 16 best teams in the world are competing for the title between 2 and 11 November.

"Football has the power to unite people from all over the world, regardless of their age, gender or social background. It can serve as a tool to promote integration and education, acting as a 'school of life' for children and adults alike. I am therefore very proud and happy that FIFA and its Partner, adidas, share the vision to support the development of disadvantaged children and to bring joy and hope to them through our beautiful game," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in a statement sent from Switzerland.

The children were able to watch the last quarter-final match from the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2007, received a guided tour of the stadium and were provided beach soccer equipment distributed by their idols, before showing their skills in a one-hour beach soccer clinic with the football professionals.

It has become a tradition for FIFA to carry out an activity during each of its competitions to raise awareness about the role that football can play in social and human development. All of these activities, conducted with a partner organisation, are run under the umbrella of the Football for Hope Movement, which is the key element of the strategic alliance between FIFA and the streetfootballworld network, to support "best practice" organisations and programmes using football as a tool for development worldwide.

Note to editors: Free high-resolution pictures of the event for editorial use can be downloaded from the FIFA Media Channel. You may register via the following page: http://mediachannel.extranets.fifa.com/RegProc.aspx. For more information on this activity, including interviews and quotes of the protagonists, please go to the official website of the competition FIFA.com: http://www.fifa.com/beachsoccerworldcup/index.html.

Further information from:
FIFA Beach Soccer media team - tel.: +41-43/222 7272 - fax: +41-43/222 7373 or e-mail: beachsoccermedia@fifa.org
FIFA Communications Division / Rio de Janeiro, 8 November 2007/ 2007-140-FBSWC-CSR-E.doc