08 Feb 2012
Euro Cup to point the sport?s future in Russia
Anokhin (Beach Soccer President RFS), Pisarev (Sporting Director) and coach Likhachev agreed on the great value of the indoor event
Three of the heads of the Russian Beach Soccer, the Beach Soccer President of the Russian FA (RFS), Sergei Anokhin, the RFS Sporting Director Nikolay Pisarev, and the National Coach, Mikhail Likhachev, held a press conference this morning, in which they highlighted the importance of the Euro Beach Soccer Cup coming back to Russia, and proving that Beach Soccer is much more than a summer, open-air, sport. As Anokhin pointed right at the very beginning of the meeting, “having the Euro Beach Soccer Cup in Russia, and in winter, is something really relevant for our country, and we look forward to turn this event to a yearly reality”.
In turn, Pisarev recalled about the last time in which the competition took place, under the same format, in the country’s capital: “I perfectly remember the Euro Beach Soccer Cup we held here in Moscow in 2005. It was an Indoor competition, as well, and all the teams coming were amused by the delivery of the event. According to the participants, it was the best Indoor tournament they had taken part in, and we look forward to beat that standards again this year.”
Of course, having the season beginning in such a competitive level means a demanding appointment for the current FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Champions, as coach Mikhail Likhachev highlighted: “The Euro Beach Soccer Cup means an important challenge for us. To begin with, we are expected to defend our title, the one we achieved in 2010 in Rome, and the team is highly concentrated. The coming tournament is always the most important”. Having this idea in mind, the coach brought the whole team together to saty in a 8-days training camp in Saint Petersburg, where they are to face Belarus and Poland, looking to land in the tournament’s opening against France in their best possible shape.
Precisely dealing with the current staus of the squad, Pisarev talked about his well-meaning envy when looking at the great success the Russian National Team has already achieved: “Of course I would have liked to win all these trophies when I was the National coach, but I really feel a part of them now. Like in every other sport, a great part of the success lies on a good organization from the federation, and this is precisely what I am involved in. Everyone in the RFS has done his or her bit to help the guys lift all these cups, and we feel really proud of it”.
The indoor concept is obviously of vital importance for the development of the sport in a country where the temperatures give little chance for the open-air practice, and both the government and the Russian FA are fully aware of it: “Needless to say, in the southern regions of Europe, the conditions are milder for the practice of Beach Soccer, but we are willing to answer with solutions to the interest aroused in Russia. The sport is growing by leaps and bounds in our country, and we do not want to make any step backwards.”
This is why up to 5 indoor beach soccer courts are planned to be built in the interior and northern areas of Russia, so to strengthen the basis of the sport, making the all-year practice true in different places. Places such as Vladivostok, Novosibirsk are the first step to accomplish, before attempting to empower the growth of the sport in such a harsh region as Siberia.
These were not the only future plans Anokhin talked about, though, as the Beach Soccer President of the Russian Football Union also referred to the dream of seeing Beach Soccer in the Olympic sphere. “Beach Soccer is meant to be part of the Olympic Family. Its growth undeniably poits so, but there are still some things to develop, such as the women program being worked on”.
Besides, the head of Beach Soccer in Russia wanted also to voice another of the golden dreams in his mind: Hosting a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in the country. “We would be absolutely delighted in having a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia, and we will work accordingly. It is not easy for this to happen in the upcoming years, but this has to become a realistic objective for 2015, 2017 or 2019”.