Asian qualifying groups re-drawn
A new draw has been made for the Asian qualifying tournament to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2007, following the withdrawal of Thailiand and Philippines. With the continental field reduced from eight to six teams, half of the participants in Dubai later this month will claim a place at the world finals, which will take place on the Copacabana sands from 2 to 11 November.
The sextet have been split into two pools of three, with the teams playing both of their group rivals once and the top two in each section advancing to the semi-finals. The two finalists along with the winner of the match for third place will stamp their passports to Brazil's south-east.
Group A will feature the hosts UAE, India and Japan, who were edged out by eventual bronze medalists France 3-2 in their quarter-final at last year's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Bahrain, who also reached the last eight at Rio de Janeiro 2006, will be joined in Group B by Iran and China.
Mamzar beach will host the Asian qualifying tournament, which will get underway on 14 August and reach its conclusion four days later.
Four of the 16 sides who will compete for the most prestigious
honour on the Beach Soccer circuit have been determined: hosts
Brazil, Oceanian champions Solomon Islands, and African pair
Nigeria and Senegal.
Tuesday, 14 August
Bahrain vs. China
UAE vs. India
Wednesday, 15 August
China vs. Iran
India vs. Japan
Thursday, 16 August
Iran vs. Bahrain
Japan vs. UAE
Friday, 17 August
Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up
Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up
Third place playoff and final
Saturday, 18 August