As part of its efforts to promote and develop football, in all its forms, throughout the world, FIFA is delighted to announce another innovation in its competition portfolio: the launch of the first ever FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. FIFA is convinced that Beach Soccer is and will increasingly become an important and attractive part of the sport of football. Therefore, world football’s governing body has decided to create FIFA Beach Soccer S.L. (FBSSL), a new subsidiary with offices in Barcelona, exclusively dedicated to organising the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup annually, as of 2005, and to developing the game on a worldwide level. Henceforth, FIFA will act as the governing body of Beach Soccer.

Although the format of the event is currently being finalised and may be subject to amendment, it is anticipated that the inaugural FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will take place in Brazil in 2005. Twelve countries, from across FIFA’s confederation zones, will take part.

Previously, the sport of Beach Soccer, including the Beach Soccer World Championships held annually between 1995 and 2004, was run principally by the Spanish-based group Beach Soccer World Wide (BSWW), with FIFA’s endorsement but without its direct involvement. Henceforth, FIFA will leverage the talents of the key staff of BSWW – comprising some of the most experienced individuals in the field – in organising the new FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. In this way, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will, with immediate effect, become the undisputed premier event of the Beach Soccer calendar.

“Beach Soccer is an immensely attractive and exciting variation of association football. Since being introduced just over a decade ago, the sport has grown steadily in terms of popularity and sophistication,” remarked FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. “It is therefore absolutely logical for FIFA, the governing body of football, to extend its reach into Beach Soccer and we look forward to bringing all of the knowledge and expertise that FIFA has to improving Beach Soccer, whilst being careful to preserve the sense of spontaneity and fun that are essential to the sport.”

 “We are delighted with this announcement,” said Luis Felipe Tavares, President of BSWW. “We have worked hard for many years to build up the reputation and quality of Beach Soccer. Now, by joining forces with FIFA to create the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, we are ensuring that we are pushing the sport to the next level in terms of quality, recognition and prominence.” FIFA will release further details in the months ahead.

Further information from:

FIFA Media Department

Telephone: +41-43/222 7272 – Telefax: +41-43/222 7373 – E-mail: media@fifa.org

FIFA Communications Department / Zurich, 1 February 2005 / 2005-14-BeachSoccerWC-E.doc