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Beach Soccer is a beacon of hope in Mozambique – Saidate Abudo Moveia

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While the traditional eleven-aside full pitch football format remains the leading and obvious sport of choice for most Mozambiquans, Saidate Abudo Moveia – head coach of the nation’s Beach Soccer national team believes that Beach Soccer has given a uniquely exciting option and beacon of hope for youngsters in the country.

Moveia was speaking to CAFOnline from the sidelines of the ongoing COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship currently underway in Durban South Africa where Mozambique are competing along with 8 other nations.

Moveia, who is aiming to lift the title shared the importance of the beach format of the sport and how it creates hope for youngsters who may not have been fortunate to get into a football academy or club.

“Football is big in Mozambique and so is the sport of Beach Soccer, which has grown in Mozambique over the years”, says the coach.

Mozambique has become one of the best Beach Soccer nations in the southern African region.

Their last appearance at the COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship saw them finish third, while their most impressive showing on the continental stage saw them finish second to current champions Senegal at the CAF Beach Soccer CAF Africa Cup of Nations in the 2021edition.

“Today we have more Beach Soccer teams around the country and some of them are part of our Football Association and play in structured competitions. This is encouraging and results in more kids having the option of playing the Beach Soccer as a sport in addition to the standard eleven-aside football”, said Moveia.

For Moveia, the COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship affords him the opportunity to assess the standard of his team ahead of this year’s CAF Beach Soccer AFCON tournament set to take place in Egypt later this year.

The African title is currently held by Senegal who were crowned champions in Mozambique in 2022 – a feat that saw them and silver-medalists, Egypt earn the right to represent the continent at the recently concluded FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

“The COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship is a competition which we appreciate and gives us great confidence. It’s really fantastic and we would like to take this opportunity to thank COSAFA”, concluded the coach.

The COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship concludes on Saturday, 23 March in Durban.

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