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BSWW Euro Beach Soccer League 2009.

EBSL 2009 Minehead
Minehead Beach Stadium – July 17-19,2009
EBSL 2009 Minehead: Preview
On Friday, the English stage of the 2009 Euro Beach Soccer League will get underway when Minehead kicks-off the second of four preliminary events hosted around the old continent. The seven participants will stride in a round-robin system to reach the prestigious EBSL Superfinal, to take place in Vila Real de Santo Antonio (Portugal) from August 20-23.
As was already the case in Lignano (Italy) last weekend, the Division B teams will be up first to hit the sand pitch at the Minehead Beach Stadium with a first set-up between Germany and Azerbaijan. With England enjoying the home advantage and Azerbaijan charged with confidence after their Quarter-final success at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2009 Qualifier in Castellon last June, the German outfit are slightly considered underdogs in Division B. However, Germany, spearheaded by strikers Olli and Veloso are not to be underestimated as they will be very keen on confirming their five-star performance against heavyweights Portugal in the round of sixteen at the European World Cup Qualifiers.
With the dust still to settle after not qualifying for the global showpiece for the first time ever, Eric Cantona’s France can ill-afford any slip-ups at the EBSL. With Rondel, Mahraoui, Sciortino and Frederic Mendy, the French bring in new blood hoping to recover the effective brand of beach soccer that earned them numerous successes in the past. On Friday, the 2005 World Champions will be looking to bounce back against Switzerland, who will try to run riot after the deception of finishing third at the EBSL-opener in Lignano.
Lastly, the first matchday sees Defending Champion Portugal entertain Norway. The Men from down South, who have won the last two editions of the continental competition, are in fine fettle themselves. Their last EBSL defeat came over two years ago, and their scoring record during their champion seasons is impressive and undoubtedly maintained as the sharpness of mighty triumvirate of Alan, Madjer and Belchior eyes brighter than ever. One cause for concern might be the defence. Since the start of 2009 Portugal have received 45 goals, considerably more than biggest EBSL title-rivals Spain and Russia.
Groups and Match Schedule
Division A                               Division B                              
 Portugal                                    England
 France                                     Germany 
 Switzerland                             Azerbaijan
Friday, July 17
14:00 Germany x Azerbaijan
15:15 France x Switzerland
16:30 Portugal x Norway
Saturday, July 18
14:00 Portugal x Switzerland
15:15 England x Germany
16:30 France x Norway
Sunday, July 19
14:00 Switzerland x Norway
15:15 England x Azerbaijan
16:30 France x Portugal
Euro Beach Soccer League (EBSL) 2009 presentation
The Euro Beach Soccer League brings the top national teams from the entire continent to compete head to head in a thrilling summer-long league format. Originally started back in 1998, this exciting continental competition has been constantly gaining reputation and catching the attention of more and more countries.
 The competition travels from place to place with the league setting up camp for a weekend at a time, attracting large crowds of spectators and giving each event a unique feel for the television audience.
BSWW are always looking to improve, and confirming this fact, the Beach Soccer entity created the following format to try and standardize its most prestigious competition.
The EBSL 2009 will feature four preliminary events in four different stages around the old continent. Compared to last year, the first and last stop of the EBSL locomotive stay the same, kicking-off in eye-catching Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy to return for the season’s Grand Finale to Vila Real de Santo Antonio in Southern Portugal. English Minehead and French Béziers are the other hosts for the Superfinal preliminary rounds and there’s still one EBSL venue to be confirmed to complete the brand new format.
The EBSL 2009 will be divided into two separate divisions, Division A and Division B. Division A consists of the 8 top teams in Europe based on the BSWW European Ranking. Division B consists of the lower ranked teams and new entries to the competition. Each division has its own regulations and competition format.
In each EBSL venue there will be four teams competing in the Division A pool and three in the Division B pool in which they will round-robin. Each team will compete in two preliminary events to see their points obtained accumulated into an overall ranking that will determine the teams that qualify for the Superfinal in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal.
EBSL events/participants
July 10-12
July 17-19 (ENGLAND)
July 29-31
RUSSIA (2nd)
RUSSIA (2nd)
ITALY (3rd)
FRANCE (4th)
FRANCE (4th)
ITALY (3rd)
SPAIN (6th)
SPAIN (6th )
POLAND (7th)
NORWAY (8th)
POLAND (7th)
NORWAY (8th )
(#)BSWW European Ranking
 Czech Republic
July 17-19
GREECE (4th)
TURKEY (6th)
BELARUS (10th)
(#)BSWW European Ranking
EBSL Superfinal / Promotion final
From August 20-23 Vila Real de Santo Antonio will once again be the host of the EBSL Superfinal, the tournament where Europe’s finest (Division A) will battle to conquer the much-vaunted EBSL title, and where the leading Division B teams will seek promotion to next year’s Division A contest.
The points obtained by each national team in the four preliminary rounds are accumulated into an overall Division A ranking. The best six teams book tickets and stay in the race for the continental title as they will face-off in a knock-out phase on Vila Real de Santo Antonio’s beaches.
The Division B Promotion final sees the Division B Champions of each preliminary round, the best overall ranked second and the last ranked team of Division A travel to Portugal to try and sneak into next year’s leading competition.