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09 Oct 2012
Official draw defines Intercontinental Cup
UAE, Russia Tahiti and USA go into group A whereas Brazil, Japan, Nigeria and Switzerland are drawn into group B
The second edition of the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup Dubai got finally outlined, after the official draw held this afternoon at the Festival City Mall. The ceremony was driven by HE Dr. Ahmed Al Sharif, General Secretary of the Dubai Sports Council, Joan Cuscó, vice-president of Beach Soccer Worldwide and FIFA Board Member, Alex Soriano, BSWW Head of Communications, and the special collaboration of former Real Madrid defender Míchel Salgado. Marco Vocale, Head of Corporate Marketing Samsung Gulf Electronics, Thomas Königsbauer, Power Horse CEO, Saif Al Mansoori, Deputy Head – Group Marketing and Branding of Emirates NBD and Yousef Al-Redha, CEO of Corporate Administrative Support Services Sector in RTA, attended the event as well.
The eight contenders were split into two groups of four, with hosts UAE being accompanied in group A by World Champions Russia, Oceania kings Tahiti and the CONCACAF representatives, USA. In turn, group B will see CONMEBOL rulers Brazil, Euro Beach Soccer League champions Switzerland, Asian crown-holders Japan, and African representatives Nigeria fighting, round robin, in group B. As the competition format sets, only the best two teams in each group will proceed to semifinals.
After the huge success achieved in the first edition, this thrilling competition featuring the best teams in every continent is ready again for a new unbelievable episode. This year, the action travels to the trendy, world class Festival City, with a competition setting up camp from October 30th to November 3rd. This new chapter of the strong relationship between Dubai and Beach Soccer promises, as always, great amounts of passion, an amusing atmosphere, music, and all the best of the most spectacular version of The Beautiful Game.
Dr Ahmed Al Sharif, General Secretary Dubai Sports Council was the first to take the floor in the ceremony, to express the joy both the city and the DSC felt in hosting again such “a top-class competition, one which reassures the place of Dubai at the core of Beach Soccer”. In addition, Al Sharif said that “we are sure that moving the event to Festival City will help it boost its first-level status” provided the venue offers infinite possibilities, as has been proved in many other sporting events held there.
After that, Joan Cuscó, vice-president of Beach Soccer Worldwide and FIFA Board Member voiced the good sensations the sport always finds in this UAE resort: “It feels great for us to be back in Dubai, where Beach Soccer has found a true home. Thanks to the support by the Dubai Sports Council and the Emirati society, Beach Soccer has been growing strong in the region for the last years, both nationally and Internationally, with top-notch events that have travelled across the world. And it is even better to be back here with the second edition of the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup, one of the strongest competitions in the season, involving the best teams in each continent. Last year, the tournament proved a true success, and we are thrilled to see it happening again this 2012. I can only thank HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the Dubai Sports Council, for their support, companionship and hospitality, and of course for their crucial role in making this city such a first-class home to the sport. Besides, I want to also specially thank Samsung and Power Horse, whose support has been key to turn this competition into reality”.
Marco Vocale, Head of Corporate Marketing Samsung Gulf Electronics stressed the dimension Beach Soccer is gaining in the region, and the interest it has for his company to be part of such a top-notch event: “Beach soccer is an extremely fast growing and dynamic sport in the UAE and this partnership demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the development of youth and sports in the region and our passion for the game of football. An event such as the Samsung Beach Soccer Intercontinental Cup 2012 is a great opportunity to connect with consumers and give back to communities in a fun and engaging way. Once again, Samsung is taking ownership of the sports platform a step further by creating new and engaging experiences that meet the passion and interests of youth today.”
Similarly Power Horse CEO Thomas Königsbauer highlighted that they would never think of not being involved in the competition: “The great success of last year’s tournament and the fact that Power Horse is an active sponsoring partner to Beach Soccer Worldwide events around the globe made it a logic decision for us to support the Intercontinental Cup Dubai 2012”, he said.
In this same sense, Saif Al Mansoori, Deputy Head – Group Marketing and Branding of Emirates NBD and Yousef Al-Redha, CEO of Corporate Administrative Support Services Sector in RTA wanted to share their excitement for taking part in a sport which is achieving a leading role in the region.