Seychelles 2025! Island nation to host FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
The announcement was made on Sunday before the World Cup final between Argentina and France. (Seychelles Football Federation/Facebook)
Seychelles will host the Beach Soccer World Cup in 2025 and will become the first African country to host the tournament.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino made the announcement at the latest council meeting in Doha, Qatar before the World Cup final between Argentina and France played on Sunday.
Infantino announced the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the host for the 12th edition of the Beach Soccer World Cup next year and Seychelles for the 13th edition in 2025.
As the host country, Seychelles, will for the first time participate in the tournament.
"We are very thrilled with the announcement, although we had originally bid to host the 2023 World Cup, I think we have now been given more time to prepare to host one of the biggest sporting events ever hosted in Seychelles," said Georges Bibi, the chief executive of the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF).
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has hosted international beach soccer tournaments before. The island nation hosted both the inaugural Cosafa Beach Soccer Championship in 2015 and the African Beach Soccer championship that same year.
However, the Beach Soccer World Cup will provide a bigger challenge to the nation with a population of around 100,000. There will be numerous logistics and infrastructures that will be needed to host such an event.
Bibi told SNA that an organising committee will be put in place to work on all aspects of the tournament and ensure everything is in place by July-August 2025.
"In terms of infrastructure, FIFA provides a demountable stadium to host the tournament. That will be placed at the beach soccer pitch, next to the Astro-turf pitch at Roche Caiman, while the current beach soccer stadium will be used as the training pitch for the team," added Bibi.
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup takes place biennially and brings together the best beach soccer players from countries across the globe. Sixteen teams, including the host country, will qualify for the tournament which normally takes place over 10 days.
The current title holder is Russia and the regular football team, Brazil, has also won the Beach Soccer world cup a record five times.