The 4th edition of the Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations (BSAFCON) is set to kick off from 23rd to 29th May 2021 in Saly, Senegal. Defending champions, Senegal, are set to host seven other African teams including Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, DR Congo, and Seychelles.
The event was meant to take place from 23-29 November 2020 in Jinja, Uganda but due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was rescheduled to May this year.
The tournament acts as a qualification route to the 11th edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup scheduled to take place from 19–29 August 2021 in Moscow, Russia.
Cup winners and runners-up will qualify for the tournament as fans are turning to soccer betting online at Betway to place their bets on the various teams.
CAF announced the fixtures on 4th March 2021 and conducted draws on 29th April 2021 in Cairo, Egypt. Group A comprises host Senegal, DR Congo, Uganda, and Tanzania whereas Group B consists of Egypt, Morrocco, Mozambique, and Seychelles.
Senegal will face debutants DR Congo in the first match and Tanzania will face neighbours and debutants Uganda. Senegal will then face Uganda in the second match and Tanzania will play DR Congo. In the last match, Senegal will face Tanzania whereas Uganda will battle DR Congo.
Egypt will start group B matches by facing Mozambique and Morocco will face Seychelles. Mozambique will then face Morocco as Egypt goes one on one with Seychelles. In the last matches, Mozambique will face Seychelles as Morocco battles Egypt.
Group winners and runners-up will proceed to the knockout stage.
This year’s tournament has witnessed its fair share of challenges because of the Corona pandemic. Uganda withdrew its interest to host the event while major teams like Nigeria failed to make it to this year’s tournament. Initially, only seven teams had qualified but Madagascar officially withdrew from the tournament giving Seychelles a free qualification.
A doubleheader between Seychelles and Madagascar scheduled to take place on 1st and 8th May was meant to determine the eighth team.
However, the cancellation of both matches brought the qualifying round to a close and propelled Seychelles into the tournament.
Uganda, DR Congo, and Morocco also benefited from the withdrawal of Ghana, which is often considered a strong team on leading betting sites like Betway. Cote d Ivoire, and Libya respectively. Tanzania defeated Burundi while Mozambique beat Comoros to secure their tickets for Senegal. Senegal and Egypt were instant qualifiers for being the hosts and highest-ranked teams of the tournament respectively.
According to CAF’s head of competitions, Khaled Nassar, COVID-19 protocols and restrictions will be observed during the event to keep the staff, players, and fans safe. Expected observations amongst fans will include wearing a face mask and observing social distancing during the tournament.
Officials and players are expected to have health and safety clearances from their respective governments to participate in the event.
Fans expressed gratitude and joy on the CAFs Twitter page after a year-long wait for the event due to the pandemic. The tournament will officially come to a close on 29th May 2021 and will propel the two best African teams eyeing the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Moscow in August.