by Joan Cusco, BSWW President
Dear beach soccer friends,
I might be the one signing off at the end of this article, but the words in the title are not just mine, but belong to everyone in the world of beach soccer, beginning with FIFA President Gianni Infantino himself, and including players, coaches, fans and everyone involved in it.
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021 raised the bar and brought the beach soccer global showpiece to a whole new level, letting everybody experience beach soccer in its purest, most spectacular and most entertaining form.
Many people may lay claim to this huge success, beginning with the extremely experienced, ambitious and professional Local Organising Committee, the Football Union of Russia, who not only worked tirelessly to reach and improve the standards, but who added their expertise with whole new concepts and ideas that exceeded everybody’s expectations, including an entertainment program never seen before in a beach soccer event.
The team that the RFU, brilliantly lead by Alexandr Alaev and Ilya Volodarskiy in command of the LOC, FIFA, with our friend and Director of FIFA Tournaments Jaime Yarza ahead, and BSWW made was, without a doubt, an incredibly strong one, and the result of this solid union translated into impressive achievements and figures that will be a real challenge to surpass.
This FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, played in a breath-taking 5,000 seater stadium, achieved the highest TV and social media audiences ever, as well as amassing the highest ever media interest. On top of that, and despite the huge challenge that the reality of Covid-19 adds and the necessary measures implemented, this edition of the World Cup registered the best attendance numbers ever, with the tickets being sold out every single day of the competition (only excluding the first day, with a 93% of stadium capacity).
Even the action on the sand seemed to mirror the huge success and quality of the organisation, with the most high-pace and attractive version of the game turning out to be the highest-scoring edition ever (9.44 goals/game), breaking through the 300-goal ceiling for the first time.
Beyond all this, there is also another thing that truly fills us with pride, as the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2021 Russia was a genuine event of involvement and unity, with people from all over the word forming essential and intricate parts of a hugely complex process. All in all, a total of 64 different nationalities were represented in the organisation of the event which, even in the era of Covid-19, is a fantastic demonstration of how far beach soccer stretches across the world.
This FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will deservedly live forever in the memories of all beach soccer lovers around the globe, just as much as it will stand as proof of the capacity of the sport to reach new levels and make more and more people to love beach soccer as much as we do.
Thank you all.