Fatma
22 Dec 2016

FATMA SAMOURA

'Beach soccer is gaining popularity in Africa'


FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura believes the recent CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations in Nigeria and the upcoming FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will serve to enhance the sport across Africa.

The African qualifier was played out in front of a capacity crowd at the stadium in Eko Atlantic, Lagos last week, with Ms Samoura among those to enjoy the action as the continent’s eight best sides battled it out for the title.

Ultimately, it was the Secretary General’s native Senegal who were crowned African champions after beating Nigeria in the final - both nations now guaranteed a spot at next year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the Bahamas as a result of reaching the final two.

After what proved a thrilling week of beach soccer, played against a backdrop of a fervent home crowd, Ms Samoura believes the event showcases a glimpse of what Africa’s sides can bring to next year’s showpiece.

"For my first event of this kind in Africa, I find it very exciting and very energising, with a lot of quick movement and also a lot of fun," she told Beach Soccer Worldwide.

"From the number of attendants here, we can only imagine what the Bahamas World Cup will be. So I’m really looking forward to being in the Bahamas next year and through this tournament we will be promoting the event worldwide and bringing more attraction to the game."

During the event, officials from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal joined forces to pilot a new West Africa Beach Soccer Union, with the aim of developing the sport in the region.

Alongside Beach Soccer Worldwide and the Confederation of African Football, the agreement is designed to tap into the growing enthusiasm and popularity for beach soccer in West Africa - an ethos Ms Samoura is squarely behind.

"Beach soccer is gaining popularity in Africa," she added, "it’s a wonderful event for the youth and even for those who are not that young.

"Africa has a large majority of young people, so this is something we need to invest more time and additional revenues in."

RESULTS & SCHEDULE
May 13, 2019 - May 19, 2019
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Next
Group Stage - Group A
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Mexico MEX 3 3 0 0 16 6 10 9
Guatemala GUA 3 2 0 1 10 10 0 6
Costarica CRC 3 1 0 2 13 15 -2 3
Jamaica JAM 3 0 0 3 5 13 -8 0
Group Stage - Group B
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Panama PAN 3 3 0 0 20 5 15 9
Trinidada   tobago TRI 3 2 0 1 16 6 10 6
Us virgin islands VIR 3 1 0 2 11 21 -10 3
Turks and caicos TCA 3 0 0 3 7 22 -15 0
Group Stage - Group C
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Usa USA 3 3 0 0 28 5 23 9
Bahamas BAH 3 2 0 1 21 9 12 6
Antigua and barbuda ATG 3 1 0 2 15 22 -7 3
Bonaire. Bonaire 3 0 0 3 7 35 -28 0
Group Stage - Group D
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Elsalvador SLV 3 3 0 0 23 6 17 9
France GLP 3 1 1 1 11 17 -6 4
Guya0001 GUY 3 1 0 2 10 13 -3 3
Belize BLZ 3 0 0 3 9 17 -8 0
Play-off for 15th Place
Play-off for 13th Place
Play-off for 11th Place
Play-off for 9th Place
Play-off for 7th Place
Play-off for 5th Place
Quarter-finals
Elsalvador SLV 8 - 4 BAH Bahamas
Usa USA 5 - 1 GLP France
Panama PAN 6 - 4 GUA Guatemala
Mexico MEX 5 - 4 TRI Trinidada   tobago
Semi-finals
Usa USA 3 - 3 (5 - 4) (PSO) SLV Elsalvador
Mexico MEX 3 - 0 PAN Panama
Play-off for 3rd place
Panama PAN 0 - 0 SLV Elsalvador
Final
Mexico MEX 0 - 0 USA Usa
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