The 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will get underway in December as football is taken to another surface as players and countries aim for glory on the sand in Paraguay.
Super Sand Eagles of Nigeria and Senegal are the two teams who have the opportunity to represent the continent at the World Cup from November 21 and December 1, 2019.
The draws were held in Asuncion the capital of the host country and Nigeria who finished second in the CAF beach soccer Nations Cup earlier in the year was placed in Group D which has powerhouses Brazil, Portugal, and Oman.
Senegal who are current African Champions, on the other hand, were grouped in Group C with Belarus, United Arab Emirates and Russia
In this write up we take a look at the two African sides and their opponents.
Nick: Super Sand Eagles
Beach AFCON Titles: 2X
World Cup App: 5
Best finish: QF 2006 & 2011
Coach: Audu Adamu
Super sands eagles are one of Africa’s powerhouses in beach soccer in Africa, the West Africans are two times beach AFCON winners first in 2007 and 2011 while managing two quarter-final finishes in the world cup first in 2006 and 2011.
They are also ranked twentieth (20) in the beach soccer world ranking, second behind highest ranked African team, Senegal.
It was against the Senegalese that the Nigerians failed to win their third Beach AFCON title in December 2018 after losing 6-1 to their opponents in the final in Egypt.
However, they will now face powerhouses Brazil and Portugal while Oman will be their third group stage opponents as they bid to better their last FIFA Beach soccer World Cup appearance in the Bahamas where they failed to scale past the group stage
The Defending Champions from the Bahamas are also the tournament’s most successful team winning 5 out of the championships last 9 editions. Even before FIFA’s take over of beach soccer World Cup, the South American team won the Beach soccer world championship nine out of ten times.
They will be expected to at least get a podium finish this time on South American soil in Paraguay, Audu Adamu has his work cut out already.
The Europeans are the second team aside Brazil to have won the Beach World Cup before and after FIFA took over the handling of the competition, the side may not have been as successful as Brazil but they can boast of winning the 2015 edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Portugal are also the current Champions of the Euro Beach Soccer League and their history shows that they are a force to reckon with.
The least prestigious of all the teams in the group, Oman has only played thrice at the FIFA Beach world cup and have never made it past the group stage of the competition.
Call them the whipping boys of the group and you may not be wrong.
Beach AFCON Titles: 5X
World Cup App: 7
Best finish: Quarter Final
Coach: Amadou Diop
Africa’s most successful beach soccer national team and reigning Beach AFCON winners will be participating in it’s seventh FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. However, despite the frequent qualification for the World Cup, the team has not progressed beyond the quarter-finals of the competition with their last participation coming in the Bahamas two years ago.
This year they will face a relatively easy group stage opponents in Group C which has the United Arab Emirates, former world champions Russia and Belarus
Well, the tournament’s newcomers have the opportunity of being unknown to serve upsets to any who may want to underrate them.
The Europeans will be playing in it’s first FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and it is left to be seen what they have up their sleeves
Russia won back to back FIFA Beach soccer world cup in 2011 in Ravenna, Italy and 2013 in Tahiti. The Europeans will be Senegal’s biggest threat going into the competition
Asia’s two-time champions will be playing in only their second FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup after featuring in 2013.
However, their Asian triumphs came in 2007 and 2008 and are not expected to be a big barrier to the Senegalese.
A–Paraguay, Japan, Switzerland, USA.
B–Uruguay, Mexico, Italy, Tahiti.
C–Belarus, UAE, Senegal, Russia.
D–Brazil, Oman, Nigeria, Portugal.
Competition holds between November 21 and December 1, 2019.