by Joan Cuscó, Beach Soccer Worldwide President
Dear Beach Soccer Family,
Resilience is a capital value that lies at the very heart of beach soccer and sports in general. It is through resilience that we endure, overcome, and ultimately thrive in the face of adversity. Today, as the President of Beach Soccer Worldwide, I am immensely proud to witness the unwavering resilience displayed by our global community over the past three years.
The challenges we have faced during this time have been unprecedented. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its far-reaching effects, tested our collective strength in ways we could not have foreseen. The cancellation of tournaments, the postponement of events, and the absence of the vibrant atmosphere that defines our sport were undoubtedly difficult to bear. Yet, it was with resilience that we persevered.
Our federations, clubs, players, coaches, referees, and fans resiliently demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to their passion, adapting to the circumstances with remarkable determination. They found solace and inspiration in the very essence of beach soccer, using the sport as a beacon of hope in uncertain times. It is this resilience, this indomitable spirit, that has fortified our community and fuelled our collective pursuit of a brighter future.
But the challenges did not end there. We faced additional hurdles stemming from geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which impacted our ability to organize events in certain regions. Yet, we remained steadfast in our dedication to our core principles of fair play, unity, and respect. We understand the power of sport to promote reconciliation and foster understanding, and we continue to work tirelessly to ensure that beach soccer thrives as a force for positivity and inclusivity.
Moreover, the global rise of prices, particularly of flights and accommodations, have been presenting yet another obstacle for our athletes, teams, and fans, making travel more challenging than ever before. The financial burdens and logistical complexities are daunting, yet we are witnessing the extraordinary efforts made by individuals across the beach soccer community to overcome these barriers. Their firm commitment serve as a testament to the power of resilience in overcoming even the most formidable challenges.
Amidst these challenges, we were compelled to make decisions that were always guided by resilience and driven by the collective best interests of beach soccer and the beach soccer community. These decisions were not taken lightly, but with a deep sense of responsibility to protect and uphold the integrity of our beloved sport.
We had to reschedule events like the Euro Beach Soccer League and the World Winners Cup to late September, in order to respect the dates of events under the umbrella of the Olympic family, such as the European Games, the ANOC World Beach Games, and the Mediterranean Games, which are crucial for the development of our sport.
Another decision was the relocation of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2023 European Qualifier from Gran Canaria to Baku. We are aware that this course of action created difficulties for everyone involved, but we carefully sought to maintain the previously announced and officialised dates at the Season Launch in Dubai, changing only the type of event, and avoiding any disruption to domestic competition schedules. We deemed it necessary to ensure the staging of a tournament that would meet the high expectations associated with such an event.
An example of this resilience and the commitment to delivering a tournament befitting the standards and safeguarding the interests of beach soccer is the proposal by the United Arab Emirates FA to potentially reschedule the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2023 to February 2024. This adjustment would allow the UAE FA to ensure the provision of a competition that lives up to the prestigious legacy of the tournament, and simultaneously it allows us to organize another edition of the Intercontinetal Cup in November in Dubai.
As we look to the future, we do so with a firm belief in the strength of our community and the potential of our sport. The resilience we have shown in the face of adversity has honed our skills, sharpened our resolve, and we are ready for a truly exciting beach soccer season.
Together, as the Beach Soccer Family, we stand resilient and united. Our shared love for the game, our commitment to each other, and our belief in the unparalleled joy of beach soccer will propel us forward. We will continue to innovate, adapt, and overcome any challenges that come our way, with resilience as our guiding principle.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to every member of the Beach Soccer Family for your support and commitment. It is through your resilience that we have weathered the storms of the past three years, and it is through our collective resilience that we will triumph in the future.
With unwavering resilience,
Beach Soccer Worldwide