|FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup|
In 2005, FIFA paired up with BSWW to co-organise the World Cup, although FIFA seem to have the most control. They kept the tradition of holding the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro and continued to allow 12 teams to participate, following on from the 2004 competition. It was Eric Cantona's France that won the competition, after beating Portugal on penalties in the final.
The tournament was deemed a major success and therefore FIFA took advantage. For the 2006 competition and beyond, FIFA decided to standardise the participants to 16 countries. It was then that the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifiers were also established, that would take place throughout the year. Again this decision was a successful one and more countries became interested in a now standard FIFA competition.
By the end of the 2007 World Cup, the tournament had become very popular throughout the world, thanks to the highly respected FIFA board taking over the competition, influencing more countries to take beach soccer more seriously as a major sport. Since the World Cup had become a success worldwide, FIFA decided to have a change of venue. It was voted, to extend the sport's popularity, the 2008 World Cup would take place in Marseille, France, and the 2009 World Cup would take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. These tournaments would be the first to take place outside Brazil. The 2008 competition was once again a major success, despite being held in a different country. This was the first time that Brazil would have to qualify for the tournament, since they weren't the hosts. However Brazil won the qualifiers and the World Cup in July. The 2009 World Cup in Dubai looks to be an even bigger success, as the second competition outside Brazil and the Beach Soccer World Cup's 15th birthday. read more