Baku, Azerbaijan, June 23
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The First European Games in Baku is a fantastic opportunity for the beach soccer in terms of the promotion of this sport and bringing it close to the Olympic Games, Joan Cusco, FIFA Board Member and Vice President of Beach Soccer Worldwide said at the press conference in Baku on June 23.
"We are avery young sport, and new trend in sports, a part of football," he said adding that joining Baku European Games is the best news that "we have been able to bring to this sport".
Cusco said that the beach soccer is represented by the best team, best players from Europe.
"We want to showcase this sport at its best. We want to gain new fans, new players, new teams, new media, new sponsors. We are very young and everything we do is just to gain people to get in love with our game," Cusco said.
He also said that the facilities created for this sport her are fantastic, up to the world class. In particular, Cusco praised the stadium, saying it was "the best we have ever played" on.
Taken from the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Beach Soccer is one of four non-Olympic sports featuring on the European Games program. The first professional beach soccer game was organised in 1993 in Miami, USA, and two years later the sport returned to Rio for the inaugural Beach Soccer World Championship. With a shot on a goal approximately every 30 seconds, an average of 9-11 goals are scored in total per game.
At the European Games in Baku Eight men's teams, comprising of 96 athletes in total, will go head-to-head over the five days of the competition beginning on 24 June 2015.
The European Games that kicked off June 12, will last till June 28. There is a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports.
More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe came to Baku to represent their nations over 17 days of competition. Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.