The draw of the beach soccer competition at the 2nd European Games took place in the conference hall of the National Olympic Stadium Dynamo.
The teams that will compete for medals have been known for quite some time. Among them are the squads from home nation Belarus, as well as Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.
The purpose of the draw was to split these eight teams into two groups (A and B). Belarus (A1, home team) and Italy (B1, winner of the 2018 Euro Beach Soccer League) were in the first basket.
The draw was led by the representative of Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW) Ricardo Garcia, assistant captain of the national beach soccer team Ivan Miranovich and the mascot of the upcoming multi-sports event, fox Lesik. The results of the draw were:
Group A Group B
1. Belarus 1. Italy
2. Portugal 2. Spain
3. Switzerland 3. Russia
4. Romania 4. Ukraine
The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals, while the remaining teams will fight for 5-8 places.
There was also a press conference to sum up the results of the draw. The Minsk European Games Organizing Committee (MEGOC) CEO George Katulin noted that beach soccer will have a special place at the upcoming Games as one of the two team sports. It could become an absolute hit in terms of the number of sports fans, ticket demand and the support that the players will receive during matches.
“Anticipating the huge interest that we will see on the stadium towards beach soccer, for us as the organisers, the most important thing is to strengthen the work for the preparation of the venue itself and to supply the teams with everything they need,” said George Katulin. “Today's draw is the first step. We are now working very attentively on a variety of issues, including transport support for each team, accommodations for international judges, and catering.”
The beach soccer tournament at the 2nd European Games will take place from June 25 to 29 in a new national stadium for this sport, which was built and put into operation in 2018. The arena is located on the territory of the Olimpiysky sports complex and has already hosted a test event ahead of the Games, a stage of the Euro Beach Soccer League (EBSL).