The draw for the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup 2018 has seen Oceania nation Tahiti drawn in Group B alongside USA, Iraq and Russia.
Group A has hosts UAE meeting Egypt, Brazil and newcomers Spain.
Russia are three-time champions in this competition while Iran won it in 2013. Tahiti are the 2015 and 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Runner-ups.
Tahiti last met Iran in the semi-finals of the most recent edition in the Bahamas while they last met Russia during the Group Stage of the 2015 world cup, a match which the Tiki Toa narrowly prevailed 7-6 in.
The eighth edition of the Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup will take place again in Dubai (UAE), between the 6th and 10th of November.
A state-of-the art stadium on Dubai’s Kite Beach will host one of the most anticipated and prestigious beach soccer competitions in the world, one that features the globe’s best teams in the beautiful and unique city of Dubai.
During the draw ceremony, HE Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of the Dubai Sports Council, said: “we are really happy to have this competition landing again in Dubai. Beach Soccer is tightly related to a healthy lifestyle, something Dubai and the Dubai Sports Council firmly believe in.
“This competition has also become a national and international attraction, and this year we will have a new location on Kite Beach, by the sea. We hope that people love the new venue, and come to enjoy the spectacular matches we will be hosting.”
Hareb also noted the excitement at welcoming the eight participating teams to Dubai.
“I would like to give a warm welcome to the Spanish national team, for their first participation in the competition, as well as thanking the other six teams for coming back to our home. We are looking forward to a great competition, and we wish the UAE national team the best of luck, as well.”
Joan Cusco, BSWW Executive Vice-President, took the opportunity to highlight the high level of the contenders, “which I think has even gone one step further this year.” At the draw he also explained that “every year we receive more and more interest from the teams wanting to take part in the competition.”
In addition, Cusco also mentioned the change of venue, which he felt was a good move.
“We are going to be on the beach again, and this is where we belong, so I think that the event has made a leap forward in this sense, too.”