From the Sand

From the Sand


The first Beach Soccer World Cup was held in Brazil, in 1995, organised by the founders of the standardised rules, Beach Soccer Worldwide, held under the title Beach Soccer World Championship. Eight teams were selected to take part, without going through a qualification process. However Brazil, the hosts, dominated and easily won the cup without losing a game. The tournament was successful and BSWW announced that the competition would take place every year.

Growth worldwide:

By 1997, more teams had already stated their interest in participating and therefore BSWW extended their selection to 10 teams for 1998. Brazil continued to dominate, despite this change. Immediately, BSWW extended to 12 teams for 1999, spreading their selection across five continents, introducing more new teams to the tournament. However with all these changes it still took until the 2001 World Cup for Brazil to lose the title after winning the competition six years on the run since the establishment. It was Portugal who won the tournament, with Brazil finishing in a disappointing fourth place.

With this change of champions, more countries thought there was a chance for themselves to win the tournament and this sparked more interest worldwide. Not surprisingly, Brazil reclaimed their title in 2002, when BSWW reduced the number of contestants back to eight. The last Beach Soccer World Championship to be organised purely by BSWW was in 2004 when twelve teams played, seven from Europe.

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup:

The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is a bi-annual international beach soccer competition contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA, the sport's global governing body. The tournament has taken place every year since its establishment in 1995, when it was originally supervised by Beach Soccer World Wide (BSWW) and was called the Beach Soccer World Championship. Due to the sport's rapid growth, FIFA took over the organization of the competition in 2005 and rebranded it as an official FIFA tournament. As of 2009, the tournament takes place every two years to allow continental tournaments to flourish without the burden of the World Cup qualifiers crowding the schedule. The growing global popularity of beach soccer resulted in FIFA's decision to move the stage of the World Cup from Brazil, its native home, to other parts of the globe. The first edition held outside Brazil was in 2008 in Marseille, France.

The current format of the tournament lasts over a week and involves 16 teams competing initially in four groups of four teams. The group winners and runners-up advance to a series of knockout stages until the final. The losing semifinalist teams play each other in a 3rd place play-off match to determine the third-placed team. The most recent edition, the 2013 World Cup, was held in Papeete, French Polynesia, and crowned Russia as champions for the second consecutive time, after defeating Spain 5–1.

From the 17 tournaments held so far, only four nations have taken the title. Brazil is the leading and dominant national team, having won 13 titles. The other three champions are Portugal, in 2001, France, in 2005 and Russia, in 2011 and 2013.

For more information about the birth and development of beach Soccer, click here, Courtesy of Wikipedia