spoke with Joan Cusco, FIFA Tournament Director and Vice-President of Beach Soccer Worldwide; and Vairani Davio, President of the Local Organising Committee, ahead of the Tahiti 2013 final to hear their observations on the tournament.

Joan Cusco, FIFA Tournament Director and Vice-President of Beach Soccer Worldwide
Impressions of Tahiti 2013
The event has been as successful as we could ever have dreamed. We planned for a special event and we thought it would be unique. Now having lived through the event, we can say it has exceeded expectations.

Overall thoughts of the on-field play
The game is maybe slowing down a little bit, but that is normal and we should not be too worried about that. Nobody wants to lose of course. I think the level of play has been spectacular and especially the Tiki Toa (Tahiti) team have been playing phenomenal beach soccer with great skills and speed.

Future for the game
The future for beach soccer is always going to be brighter because we are always growing. Everything we do is improving. Every new tournament, new match and every minute on television is an added value for us. We don’t expect in the short term to say ‘we have achieved what we want to achieve’, because there is always new challenges.

2015 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Portugal
Portugal will be a great event and they are one of the founding countries for beach soccer. The national association is 100 per cent endorsing the sport. It shows how much commitment from Portugal that we have. Test events have always been great in Portugal. Now we will try and improve on this World Cup which, without question, has been awesome.

Vairani Davio, President of the Local Organising Committee
On the achieving the tournament’s goals
I think we mostly reached our objectives. I have been in the team since the beginning of the adventure and the very first objective when we bid was promotion of the country. I think we reached our objective in terms of media and coverage so that is a success. The second important factor is the attendances, which have been outstanding.

On the importance of the tournament for Tahiti
I think it is a historic moment because it is the first time we have had a FIFA World Cup here in Tahiti. The government realises that sport can be included in the economic strategy for the region, so I think we have put down some milestones for the future. Tahiti is now ready to host multi-sports events. This has been an historic moment.