By Our Reporter
In the CAF Executive meeting that sat in Ghanian capital Accra in Dec 2018, Uganda was awarded host Rights for the 4th edition of AFCON BEACH SOCCER finals 2020, for the very first time in the history of Beach Soccer Football.
During the finals of the 3rd edition of AFCON BEACH SOCCER finals in Egypt city Sharm El Sheikh on the shores of Red Sea, the CAF president Mr. Ahmad Ahmad in a ceremony handed over the CAF flag to Fufa president Eng. Moses Magogo confirming the next host nation.
The final two countries will represent Africa in the FIFA beach soccer world cup. The 3rd edition finals that were hosted by Egypt were won by Senegal after beating Nigeria 6-2 in the finals played in the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh about 500km from Egyptian capital Cairo.
Beach Soccer on the African continent was originally being organised by Beach Soccer World Wide (BSWW) until CAF took over the last three editions. All African countries play qualifiers and the final eight countries qualify to the finals. So 2020 finals in Uganda puts Uganda as the first country to qualify for the finals being the host nation.
The final countries that played the 3rd edition in Egypt by order of rankings finished as indicated below;
- Ivory Coast
Uganda failed to qualify to this year’s finals after being eliminated by Ivory Coast on an aggregate of 7-5 goals on both legs. Uganda lost 1-3 in Entebbe and drew 4-4 in Abidjan during the return leg.
So winning the bid gives Uganda an edge over others for the automatic qualification to the AFCON BEACH SOCCER finals 2020.
What does winning the bid benefit Uganda as a country?
- It’s an opportunity for us as a country to get a modern Beach soccer pitch that suits the host’s requirements.
- Get direct support from both FIFA and CAF in preparation for the Final tournament.
- Tourism sector will equally benefit as more people will be coming for this continental event. This will definitely have a direct benefit to the hotel and tourism industries in Uganda.
- International media will for much period towards the event be here in Uganda to focus much on Uganda as a country. This will definitely keep us connected to the international media. And many more benefits.
Uganda spearheaded the development of beach soccer in East Africa and by hosting the continental showpiece is a clear testimony of our regional contribution. We launched this game in Zanzibar in 2014, Kenya 2015, Tanzania 2016 and Rwanda 2017 in Gisenyi.
Beach soccer was launched in Uganda in 2010 and is played by in the following completions;
- Uganda Beach Soccer League (16 clubs)
- Women Beach Soccer League (12 clubs)
- University Beach Soccer Championship (24 universities)
- National Schools Beach Soccer tournament (32 secondary schools)
- Corporate Beach Soccer Challenge (54 companies)
The national team participates in the Cops Dar es Salaam tournament, the Afcon qualifiers and Fifa world cup qualifiers. The Uganda national team is called UGANDA SAND CRANES.