Wednesday 18th February 2015 – Qatar will stage another elite international sporting competition, following an announcement today the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Asian Qualifiers will be held in Doha. The draw for next month’s exciting qualifiers took place in Al Bidda Tower as the event returned to Qatar following a hugely successful event in 2013.
Running between 23rd and 28th March, the matches will bring more than 2,000 fans to Katara Beach – with Katara supporting the event as official venue partner. The crowds will watch 15 nations battle it out for the three Asian Football Confederation berths available at the finals in Portugal this July. A free to enter fan zone will also allow fans to further enjoy their experience at the Beach Soccer, featuring a range of activities for the entire family.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) have been confirmed as official organisers with the QFA the host federation.
Nasser Al Khater, Executive Director for Communications & Marketing at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy said: “Hosting the qualifiers provides another opportunity to demonstrate Qatar’s ability to deliver events for the world’s elite athletes in the run up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. “We proved in 2013 what a success we could make of Beach Soccer and we are going to raise the bar with an even better tournament this year. The matches will provide Qatari sports fans with another chance to show their passion for football in all forms.”
Abdulla Al Saai, Director Futsal and Beach Soccer, said: “We would like to send a warm welcome to the visiting teams coming to Qatar to participate in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2015 qualifiers and on behalf of the Qatar Football Association I wish each of them the very best of luck and every success. We are hopeful that our National Team will perform well and lift the title, but it will be a tough competition. It’s a fabulous opportunity for our team to work hard and perform well as all involved have been very dedicated.”
Joan Cusco, Beach Soccer Worldwide Executive Vice President and FIFA Beach Soccer Committee Member, said: “The level and competitiveness of Beach Soccer in Asia has been growing at an incredible speed. Today, Asian teams can contest anyone in the world, and have become difficult opponents for the beach soccer all-time powerhouses. This FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2015 – AFC Qualifier Qatar will showcase that growth, with a terrifically balanced fight among several teams who deserve going to the World Cup. Only three will make it.”
The tournament follows a number of high profile sporting events that have been successfully hosted in Qatar in 2015, including The Qatar Total Open tennis, Qatar Masters golf tournament, Tour of Qatar cycling and the IHF Handball World Championships all saw the sporting world’s attention focused on Qatar, which has consistently delivered world class events.
The draw saw the teams split up into the following groups.
· Group A: Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Laos
· Group B: Japan, China PR, Vietnam, Kuwait
· Group C: United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Iraq
· Group D: IR Iran, Thailand, Lebanon