Liberia eye Beach Soccer Nations Cup
-After official launch of the sport
By Boy Dolo
Though a popular sport in the world, Beach Soccer is very new in Liberia and not many Liberians have knowledge of the technical composition of the sandy game. Despite of this, the country is hoping to participate in its first Beach Soccer Nations Cup later this year.
An inaugural tournament to joint start the preparation was launched over the weekend at the Power Plant Soccer Pitch in the densely populated township of West Point.
PHP Beach Soccer Team won the two days event that included four teams, defeating hosts Power Plant in post-match penalty after full time finished 3-3.Buzzi Quarter defeated Central Monrovia 6-2 to lift the bronze medal.
Liberia Football Association (LFA) Vice President for Administration Musa Shannon said the sport has great potential and as such the LFA will do everything possible to promote it in Liberia.
He said with the lunch of the game, the country can now expect invitation to participate in this year Beach Soccer Nations Cup expected to take place in Nigeria. “With the launch of Beach Soccer in Liberia officially we can now anticipate participation in the Nations Cup,” he said.
Shannon said although the sport has been played in Liberia, the LFA thought it wise to make it official thus giving opportunity to others who don’t meet the criteria to play in the national football league. He said Liberia has several beaches and as such promoting the sport should not be a problem.
“Beach soccer has been played in Liberia for years, but we want to make it professional, by applying the rules and all other technical components. We have several beaches from West Point to Central Monrovia and that will help in the development process.
Shannon who is also the Chairman on Beach Soccer at the LFA disclosed that the sport will be used to afford older players who don’t have time to play in the National football League to continue playing. He added that the LFA is hoping to acquire funds so as to keep hosting tournaments.
Brief profile of Beach Soccer
Beach soccer, also known as beach football or beasal, is played on a beach or some form of sand. The game emphasises skill, agility and shooting at goal.
It started in Brazil, more precisely at Leme beach, Rio de Janeiro, and has grown to be an international game since 1992.
Each team consists of five players, including the goalkeeper and an unlimited number of substitutions, from a selection of three to five players. Throw-ins and kick-ins mean the pace and flow of the game are much faster than regular football. Shoes are not allowed, although ankle guards are permitted.
Four referees officiate the match, two on the field and one off, controlling the teams benches. The fourth referee is called timekeeper and is controlling the stopwatch on the side. A beach soccer field is considerably smaller than a regular football field.
In international competition, the field is composed entirely of sand and is cleared of pebbles and seashells, along with any other objects which could injure a player. It length is 35–37 metres (38.3–40.5 yards) and Width: 26–28 metres (28.4–30.6 yards)