OFC Beach Soccer champions Tahiti have found themselves drawn in a tough pool ahead of their fifth-straight appearance at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, due to kick off in November 2019.
The Tiki Toa will face Uruguay, Italy and Mexico in their bid to make a third consecutive final in the pinnacle event on the beach soccer calendar, having finished runners-up in 2015 and 2017.
The team, which boasts plenty of experience, knows it will be a tough competition with so many nations now committing to full-time professional beach soccer programmes, while in Tahiti it remains an amateur sport.
“It’s a very strong group for Tahiti. But we know our opponents now so it’s up to us to prepare ourselves,” Tahiti captain Raimana Li Fung Kuee said.
The first match for Tahiti, also the opening encounter of the tournament, is against Italy on 21 November.
“To go straight into the World Cup against a big team is something we’ve already done against Brazil in 2017. There’s a really good goal scorer in the Italy team. It’s a really good group, it’s going to be difficult for us,” Li Fung Kuee continued.
Bennett was present at the draw in Paraguay along with head of delegation Jean-Francois Martin, and he was able to visit the training grounds and stadium facilities.
“We visited the training camp facilities proposed by Paraguay. We can train in really good conditions. We are going to come over a month in advance to prepare in the most optimal manner,” Bennett said following the draw.
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Groups:
|GROUP A||GROUP B||GROUP C||GROUP D|
|Paraguay ??||Uruguay ??||Belarus ??||Brasil ??|
|Japan ??||Mexico ??||U.A.E ??||Oman ??|
|Switzerland??||Italy ??||Sénégal ??||Portugal ??|
|USA ??||Tahiti ??||Russia ??||Nigéria ??|
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will take place in Paraguay from 21 November to 1 December 2019.