Romario and Karembeu to assist at FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup draw on 26 August
The official draw for the third FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will take place in Marseilles on Sunday, 26 August 2007 (20.00h CET). The event at the Palm Beach Hotel (200 Corniche J.F Kennedy, 13007 Marseilles, France) will be conducted by FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke, who will be assisted by 1994 FIFA World Cup™ winner Romario (Brazil) and 1998 FIFA World Cup™ winner Christian Karembeu (France).
The draw in Marseilles will determine the fixtures for the group stage of the nine-day tournament on Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach from 2 to 11 November 2007. Eight of the 16 teams are already known - Nigeria and Senegal (African Zone), Solomon Islands (Oceanian Zone), USA and Mexico (North, Central American and Caribbean Zone), Argentina and Uruguay (South American Zone) and the hosts, Brazil, who have qualified automatically. The draw will take place following the final qualifying event in Marseilles from 21 to 26 August, which will see Europe's elite, including Eric Cantona's French team, battling it out for five tickets to the finals.
"We are thrilled to have welcomed this relatively new sport into the FIFA family, and over the last three years it has become a mainstay of the FIFA calendar of competitions. Beach soccer is a fascinating game. It is so simple - but that is what makes it so wonderful. Passion, tension, emotion and not to mention the spectacular and exhilarating style of play. Since the inaugural tournament a few years ago, I have seen some incredible football action with the promise of more thrilling games and excitement at the upcoming third edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
After the draw ceremony, the hosts of the 2008 and 2009 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will be announced by FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke at a press conference in the presence of representatives of the selected host venues. In 2008, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will leave its birthplace and be hosted elsewhere for the first time with Ecuador, France, Mauritius, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates among the bidding candidates.
Beach soccer pitch inaugurated at the Home of FIFA FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today officially inaugurated the beach soccer pitch at the Home of FIFA in Zurich with a symbolic kick-off witnessed by reigning World Cup champions Brazil and the Swiss national team. "Our beautiful new pitch here at the Home of FIFA underlines our strong commitment to this sport, which we believe has a great future," said Blatter. The midday ceremony was attended by a gathering of officials and friends from the football family who were treated to a fascinating demonstration of beach soccer skills.
Looking ahead to the final qualifying event, the draw and the final tournament itself, the official website for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2007, www.FIFA.com, will once again be offering the most extensive coverage of all the action en route to and during the event in Rio de Janeiro in November.