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Sports Last Updated: Mar 1, 2017 - 4:35:05 PM

Bahamas PM welcomes FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup draw on live intl. broadcast
By Eric Rose, BIS
Mar 1, 2017 - 4:35:25 PM

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NASSAU, The Bahamas -- During a live internationally-broadcasted event, on February 28, 2017, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie "warmly" welcomed, on behalf of the Government and people of The Bahamas, the representatives of both FIFA and CONCACAF (the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football), who had come to The Bahamas to witness the occasion of the "historic" Official Draw of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017.

"Over the last two weeks, The Bahamas was indeed proud to host the CONCACAF Beach Soccer championship in our brand-new national stadium, which was overwhelmingly successful both in terms of competitiveness and in terms of fan support," Prime Minister Christie said, during the event, held at Atlantis Resort Paradise Island.

"This, indeed, was a harbinger of things to come," Prime Minister Christie said. "The Bahamas takes great pride in hosting the prestigious FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017, which will be held in Nassau, in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, during the period April 27th to May 7th, 2017."

Prime Minister Christie stated that The Bahamas and Bahamians are a welcoming and hospitable country and people. As a Government and as a people, he said, they proudly and eagerly look forward to welcoming teams, representatives and fans from all over the world to that world-class event in a few months’ time.

He added that it also spoke volumes as to the will and determination of the nation to use sports as a vehicle for social development and upliftment of its people, especially its youth, and for personal development.

As a Government, The Bahamas is committed to the development of the whole man, and sport is but one of the avenues by which it hopes to achieve that, Prime Minister Christie said.

"Lastly, I am very encouraged and proud of the growing partnership between The Bahamas Football Association and FIFA, and the resulting goodwill and support by FIFA to the development of football in our nation."

The results, Prime Minister said, have been real and tangible and he thanked the worldwide body for all that they had done and will do in the future.

"It is, therefore, with a great deal of pleasure, that I invite the world to come to The Bahamas and to be a part of an exciting event, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017," he said. "I look forward to keen competition from the sixteen teams that will compete in this event."

Prime Minister Christie said that Beach Soccer was a relatively new sport; but it was one that is gaining in popularity in terms of worldwide competition.

"I can tell you that you will witness 16 of the finest teams in the very keenest of competition over a period of two weeks," he said. "At the same time you will be able to enjoy the exuberance of the hospitality and friendliness of our people, our culture and our renowned environment.

"We look forward to welcoming you to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017 in The Bahamas." (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)

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