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Bahamas scores Caribbean first, winning 2017 Beach Soccer World Cup bid

Bahamas scores Caribbean first, winning 2017 Beach Soccer World Cup bid

Posted by Shanelle Weir on December 22, 2014

The Bahamas will become the first Caribbean nation to host a senior FIFA tournament when it welcomes the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. 

The 2017 championships will be the ninth time this bi-annual competition has been held. The 16-team 2015 competition will be held in Portugal.

Speaking after FIFA's executive committee meeting in Marrakesh where the award was made, CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said it as an honour to welcome "such an appropriate tournament to the Caribbean region."

"This is fantastic and welcomed news, not only for the football family of the BFA, but the Bahamas in general," said Anton Sealey, President of the Bahamas Football Association. "It is unquestionably a tremendous honor and privilege to be chosen to host a FIFA competition and the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in particular.

The Bahamas recently hosted the 2013 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship.

CONCACAF has been proactive in developing beach soccer in its region, being the first confederation to form a dedicated beach soccer department focused on developing the game throughout its member associations.

Beach Soccer is probably the one FIFA discipline where it is possible for a small nation to take and beat the world's football super powers. While Brazil has always been a dominant force in the game Tahiti proved that a small nation can take on and beat the best, hosting the World Cup in 2013 and rising through the rankings to fourth place with wins over Argentina, the US and Spain on the way.

CONCACAF is taking Beach Soccer very seriously and while the US and Mexico have dominate in the region, the Central American nations have grown in competitiveness and there is expectation that the Caribbean will quickly find some world contenders as an improved coaching and competition structure encourages more players to develop.

Beach Soccer is played on a 37m x 28m pitch. Teams have 10 players but only five on the court at any time. Tournament matches average 9.6 goals a game and the fast-paced format fits into an hour.

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