FIFA Beach Soccer AFC DrawQatar will face Oman and Australia in the Asian qualifying rounds for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013. The draw, which was held on Thursday, 20 December took place at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, Official Hotel Partner of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 – AFC Qualifiers. Hamad Al Mannai, Tournament Director and Vice Chairman of Futsal and Beach Soccer, Qatar Football Association; Nasser Al Khater, Communications and Marketing Director for the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee; Joan Cusco, FIFA Beach Soccer CEO (and FIFA Beach Soccer Committee Member); and Josep Ponset, Beach Soccer Worldwide’s Head of Competitions, were on hand to draw the groups for the Asian qualifiers.

In Group A are Qatar, Oman and Australia. Japan (2011 AFC Beach Soccer Champions), Bahrain and Lebanon will face off in Group B. Drawn in Group C are the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Palestine and Saudi Arabia. And, in Group D, are Iran, China and Iraq. The first place teams from each group advance to the semi-finals. The two finalists and the third place, play-off winner will earn qualification to the global showcase in September.

The AFC qualifiers, to be held at Katara Beach from 22 to 26 January 2013, present a unique opportunity for Qatar’s National Beach Soccer team. Qatar will be attempting to qualify for the first time, under the stewardship of Brazilian coach, Nenem, who is the top Brazilian goal scorer in the history of Beach Soccer – voted best player in the world in 2002. A state-of-the-art, 3,000 person, temporary stadium will be built on the shore. The qualifying rounds will be free of charge and a small fan zone will also be set up adjacent to the event.

The seventh edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will take place from 18 to 28 September, 2013 at Toata Stadium (Stade de Toata) in Papeete, on the Pacific island of Tahiti.

After the draw, Hamad Al Mannai the Tournament Director said:

On behalf of the Qatar Football Association and as the Vice Chairman of Futsal and Beach Soccer, I cannot say how excited I am for Qatar to host the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013 – AFC Qualifiers.’

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