Sal Beach Soccer returns to Santa Maria
The beach was full of spectators as the teams took to the sands to commence this year’s Sal Beach Soccer. Held between the 19th and 21st May, the Island of Sal hosted the second edition of the sports event, which is promoted by the Chamber of Tourism, in partnership with Beach Soccer World Wide and FIFA.
In 2016, the inaugural event involved 50 people, 63 athletes, 47 goals, 23 sponsors and 371 hotel nights. And just like last year, the competition consisted of four teams: Cape Verde, Portugal, England and Germany. The listing has changed slightly, with Germany debuting in the competition due to the absence of the Spanish team. The Resort Group PLC was happy to sponsor the Sal Beach Soccer Cup 2017, providing the Cape Verde and England Team with accommodation during the tournament.
Last year, approximately 6,000 people passed through the pop-up stadium that hosts the event so expectations were high for this year’s audience numbers. The competition took place over three exciting days on the beach of Santa Maria with three games played over the 15 hours. It is played as an all-against-all system so at the end of all the matches, the title was rewarded to the team that obtained the most points. This year, the Sal Beach Soccer Cup also had a competition for players with cerebral palsy, played on the morning of the 20th and 21st of May – the first time this has been included.
Portugal was the favourite in the run-up, having won the trophy in the first event held in 2016. It was a safe bet as the Portuguese team closed their Sal Beach Soccer Cup campaign with a convincing 12-3 win against host country Cape Verde on Sunday. Meanwhile, England pipped Germany to second place with a 3-1 win, after coming from behind with three impressive goals.
The Sal Beach Soccer Cup is an excellent opportunity to encourage beach soccer in Cape Verde, but is also serves to promote the Island as a tourist destination. It was attended by many dignitaries of the Island as well as VIP guests, including CEO of The Resort Group PLC, Rob Jarrett; Minister of Sport, Fernando Elisio Freiere; Kite Surfing Champion, Mitu Monteiro; General Director of Tourism, Carlos Dos Anjos and the Mayor of Sal Island.
The international press gives special attention to the event, not only for the games themselves but also highlighting the Island’s touristic value. Further to that, the event was broadcast in more than 80 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia with a maximum reach of 300 million viewers.
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