Africa’s representatives at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will be decided over the coming days as the CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in Lagos from Tuesday.
So far, only hosts the Bahamas, Oceania’s Tahiti and European sides Poland, Switzerland, Portugal and Italy are confirmed at next year’s showpiece but, over the coming days, Africa’s eight best teams will look to join them.
Home favourites Nigeria will hope to add to their two previous victories in this competition, which came in 2007 and 2009, and will come up against the side they defeat in the final on both those editions, Ivory Coast, in Group A.
Egypt and Ghana complete the pool while last year’s champions Madagascar will feature in Group B along with Libya, Morocco and three-time competition winners Senegal.
The ever-popular Copa Lagos event – held at the stadium in Eko Atlantic on Sunday – showcased the kind of fervent atmosphere that teams can expect during the completion and Nigeria head coach Audu Ejo Adamu hopes to make the most of the support from the stands.
“We have been in camp and working hard as we prepare for this competition,” he said.
“The players, other members of the technical crew and myself are confident and we are going to challenge for the trophy, nothing less.
“Nigeria is one of the strongest teams in beach soccer in Africa and, playing at home, we believe the added advantage of crowd support will push us all the way.”
Group games will take place between Tuesday and Thursday and, after a rest day on Friday, the semi-finals and the final will be played out across the weekend with the two finalists ensured of a spot at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.