Hosts UAE were drawn alongside Portugal, Spain and Senegal in Group A
The groups for the 2021 Tecnotree Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup have been decided.
Eight of the best beach soccer nations from across the globe were organised into two groups at the official draw, which took place on Tuesday 12 October at the Dubai Sports Council headquarters
The teams were drawn as follows:
Hosts UAE will face the newly-crowned European champions Portugal, as well as Spain, who were in their group in the World Cup just under two months ago, as well as Senegal, who made it all the way to fourth in the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia.
In a group of equally high calibre, the world champions Russia will take on Intercontinental defending champions Iran, both of whom are tied on three titles and are the only nations at this 2021 edition to have won the competition before.
Alongside them are World Cup runners-up, Japan, meaning that one of the group games will see a replay of the FBSWC final! Paraguay are also familiar foes to both Russia and Japan, as all three sides began their 2021 World Cup campaigns in the same group.
Some of the organisers took the opportunity to share a few words ahead of one of the most-anticipated events in the beach soccer calendar.
HE Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council:
I would like to welcome our friend Joan [Cusco], as well as the UAE Football Association, and also our new title sponsor, Tecnotree, as well as all the members of the media present here and the players from our national team.
This year we are celebrating not a regular anniversary, but the tenth anniversary. Beach Soccer is completely different to other sports, and we are proud to have built such a big and strong relationship with Joan Cusco and Beach Soccer Worldwide and hopefully in the future we will do even bigger things.
Joan Cusco, President of Beach Soccer Worldwide:
I would like to begin by thanking Dubai Sports Council. They have always been with us since day one. Saeed is leading this team that shows more and more professionalism, and their dedication to this event is fantastic.
The level of the teams is as good as the World Cup. Everybody wants to come to Dubai, be here and participate in the event.
Ali Hamad, Chairman of UAE FA Beach Soccer Committee:
We have been working a lot and the team is preparing very well. We have a lot of trust in our National Team, and despite not being lucky in Russia, we are looking forward to a great performance in the coming Tecnotree Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai 2021. I would also like to thank Mr. Joan Cusco for their support over these years and especially during the difficult moments we lived in the World Cup.
This 10th edition of the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup will have a new member on board: Tecnotree. The Tech company, who have created an Ecosystem platform that allows infinite ways of interacting with fans providing a lot of commercial value to sports properties, became the title sponsor of the event.
Priyesh Ranjan, Chief Financial Official Tecnotree, commented that they are, “Very excited to become the title sponsor of the Intercontinental Cup. I wish everybody involved a great success in the event and thank you for having us as a part of it and of this family.
From 2 to 6 November, eight of the world’s top teams will be heading back to the stunning Kite Beach for this 10th edition of the most prestigious yearly event in the beach soccer calendar, jointly organized by Beach Soccer Worldwide and the Dubai Sports Council.
As is tradition, the two groups will play three days of round robin matches, followed by semi-finals and then the final on Saturday 6 November.
The award ceremony will then be shortly followed by the Beach Soccer Stars, where the top performers of the 2021 season will be recognised in the glittering gala.
Current champions Iran, after missing out on a place at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, will be keen to retain one of the sport’s top trophies in their eighth Intercontinental Cup appearance, a title which they have held since 2018.
As it stands, Iran, Brazil and newly-crowned world champions Russia share the titles of the previous nine editions, and the deadlock may be broken in the 2021 event, where Russia and Iran have the chance to claim a record fourth Intercontinental Cup.
Who, if anyone, can dethrone Iran?
For more details on the 2021 Intercontinental Cup, stay tuned to the Beach Soccer Worldwide channels.