Seychelles is among five nations bidding to host the 2023 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, an official said.
The bidding process opened in October and will conclude with the selection of the host in March 2022. Seychelles is bidding along with Colombia, Bahrain, Thailand and UAE.
The chairman of the Seychelles Football Federation, Elvis Chetty, told SNA that “we are very serious in this bid and that is why we have also recruited a top professional in the tournaments bidding field, a man who worked with South Africa’s successful 2010 FIFA world cup bid.”
If Seychelles is successful, the island nation will be seen as one of the premier beach soccer destinations. Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, hosted the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) beach soccer tournament in 2015.
“We are confident that we will be successful in our bid to host the World Cup and if we do get it, it will be huge for Seychelles. We will have international recognition and be in the sporting limelight,” added Chetty.
Earlier this week, the government pledged to support the Federation’s bid to host the tournament which is expected to bring more visibility to the island nation with the worldwide coverage of such event.
The Chairman told SNA that with a successful bid new infrastructure will be needed and a demountable stadium will be built and after the games, it will be sent to La Digue and Praslin, to help develop the sport on those islands.
For Seychelles, their last international tournament was earlier this year, when the team travelled to South Africa for the COSAFA Beach Soccer tournament. Seychelles’ side did not win any matches.
The 2023 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will be the 12th edition. It is the premier international beach soccer championship contested by men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA.
If Seychelles wins the bid, the team will be among the 16 nations competing in the tournament and a lot of work will need to be done to give the local side a chance against some of the giants in the sport.
“We are at the moment looking into an intensive development programme where we will be trying to get the best out of our team and be ready for the tournament,” said Chetty.
He said that this plan will go ahead regardless of whether or not Seychelles wins the bid.
Russia is the defending champions while Brazil has won the tournament a record five times.