DUBAI: H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), accorded a warm welcome to all participating teams and esteemed delegates from football’s world governing body FIFA as the UAE plays host to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2024 Dubai, from 15th to 25th February.
‘We warmly welcome all those who are here to attend this prestigious championship, including the players from participating teams, the officials from FIFA, and all the guests who will be here to attend this event starting on February 15,’ Sheikh Mansoor said.
‘This is the second time that Dubai is playing host to the Beach Soccer World Cup, and we can all be guaranteed of some non-stop and pulsating action over the next eleven days at the Dubai Design District,’ he added.
‘We hosted this same championship along the Jumeirah coastline way back in 2009, and this just goes to reaffirm the UAE’s distinguished position as a host of major international sporting events thanks to the support and
guidance that the sector receives from our Rulers,’ Sheikh Mansoor further said.
The Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council highlighted the leadership’s unstinting support in transforming various sectors in the UAE, including sports. ‘Such vision comes from wise leadership, and this leadership also provides us with all the means and avenues to organise a successful global event. We’ve got a great venue [Dubai Design District] and, coupled with some great organisational expertise, we can be safely assured of the steady development of the sports scene and, indeed, all sectors in the country. The UAE today hosts more than 200 nationalities from across the globe, and this indeed is one of the strong points that will ensure its success in all events,’ he added.
Sheikh Mansoor said that the Dubai Sports Council has nurtured fruitful partnerships with major international sports federations, global organisers, and national sports federations over time. ‘We are pleased to cooperate once again with football’s world gov
erning body, FIFA, and our very own UAE Football Association (UAE FA) as we aim to stage perhaps the best beach soccer event in the world. The eyes of the entire world will be on Dubai and the UAE. This event will be one that captivates audiences across the world as Dubai plays host to diverse contingents of fans,’ he added.
‘The initial idea was always to have this event along one of our lovely beaches in the UAE, but, along with FIFA and the UAE FA, we decided to utilise the lovely facilities we have at the Dubai Design District that is so nicely situated next to the upscale international design destination and Dubai Canal,’ Sheikh Mansoor said.
‘Dubai Canal represents a national achievement that we are all proud of with the waters of the Arabian Gulf winding through new areas within Dubai and it has become another vital artery of our wonderful city. We assure everyone that the splendour of this place will complement the splendour of the teams’ performances and the splendour of the event’s organisation, s
o that the championship becomes an unforgettable event not just for the participants, but for the large audiences that are expected to attend.
‘Everyone connected with this event can be assured of returning to their homelands with beautiful memories of our country, our city and our society, besides fond impressions of the rich international sporting calendar in the UAE,’ he said.
The 2024 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will see the participation of 16 teams that have been divided into four groups of four each. Europe and Asia have four teams each representing them, while South America and North America have three teams apiece, with a further two teams from Africa.
Hosts UAE are drawn in Group A alongside Egypt, Italy and the USA, while Oman is placed alongside multiple champions Brazil, Portugal and Mexico in Group D. Group B consists of Spain, Iran, Tahiti and Argentina, while Group C is made up of Japan, Senegal, Colombia and Belarus.
The biennial event features men’s national teams from FIFA member associ
ations and will mark the 22nd edition of a World Cup in beach soccer since the introduction of the Beach Soccer World Championships, which were held from 1995 to 2004. The World Championships were held annually until 2009, when the event became a biennial championship.
Source: Emirates News Agency