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Sep 27 13 10:13 PM

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Not much happening on this section, but an interesting time right now for beach soccer, with hosts Tahiti (after beating Argentina 6-1) having reached the semi-finals of this year's Beach Soccer World Cup (the only current OFC member nation to have reached this far in a FIFA tournament), playing 2011 champions Russia. Brazil play Spain in the other match, at the time of writing both of them are being held tomorrow morning, earlier today, or yesterday, depending on your point of view and/or timezone...
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#2 [url]

Sep 28 13 10:34 PM

It's interesting to see how a team can suddenly become really good in a short space of time. Tahiti weren't really that good (I'd say hovering around the 60-70 mark out of about 100 teams) until they unexpectedly beat the Solomon Islands (a top 30 world team) to qualify for the last World Cup. They didn't do too well there, but since they were named as 2013 hosts, they've put a lot of work in, and have in fact beaten several teams convincingly in friendly matches (including Argentina, France and Netherlands).

Apparently, Beach Soccer Worldwide has talked to the Scottish FA, but they don't seem interested (although there is a league I believe). The Scottish FA seems to see beach soccer and futsal as unnecessary frivolities rather than development tools, and it's one of the few UEFA members not to have one or the other. I tend to agree - futsal and beach soccer are largely different sports from regular football - and are keen to promote the differences rather than the similarities (people within futsal hate to hear of it being simply a 'development tool' so that players can then play the 'real' game). I'm not sure having a national futsal or beach soccer team is really all that helpful in footballing terms. How many futsal players in Europe move on to be top footballers? Some of them can actually make decent money in futsal (i.e. the sport that they are already world class in). Why would they want to go into football and have to develop completely different skills?

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#3 [url]

Sep 29 13 11:46 AM

But surely having it there as an option will not harm anyone? At the very least Scottish futsal and beach soccer would gain more publicity if their national teams joined the associations...

As for Tahiti, it has been a very impressive development, although they did record a victory in 2011 (5-2 against Venezuela) despite going out in the group stage, so for a debutant probably a tournament of mixed feelings rather than 'not too well'.

And in this year's tournament, they have now ended with 4th place, losing the 3rd-Place Play-Off on penalties after a 7-7 draw with Brazil. Russia won the World Cup a second time after a 5-1 win against Spain.

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