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Bahamas to host 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup for first time

More than 300 soccer athletes, coaches and sports officials will be heading to the Bahamas next year, when the island nation hosts the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup for the first time. The influx of visitors will provide a welcome boost to the Caribbean country's economy, with 15 visiting teams, their support teams and fans staying for the two-week event.

Bahamas to host 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup for first time

Bahamas will get a welcomed increase in international visitors next year when the island nation hosts the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup for the first time. The event will last for two weeks in April next year, and is expected to attract many beach soccer enthusiasts.

The competition will have a total of 16 teams taking part including the Bahamas team, who have automatically qualified. The event will see more than 300 beach soccer athletes, coaches, support teams travelling to the Bahamas, as well as fans and sports enthusiasts.

"We have 15 teams coming in with an average travelling delegation of about 20-25. Economically it will have a tremendous boost to our economy because the beach soccer players, and fans that travel with them, will come and enjoy themselves at the events."

Explained Anton Sealey, the President of The Bahamas Football Association. Mr Sealey also added:

"Of course being a resort destination we expect that many of them will stay on after the competition to get some rest and relaxation. So we anticipate that we will have an impact from this for about a month."

Last week, the cup's official emblem was revealed, which is shaped in the form of the FIFA Beach Soccer trophy. It features vibrant colours and design that reflects the local culture and landscapes of the Bahamas and the positive nature of sport.

Over recent years, the Bahamas has hosted many international sporting events including the International Association of Athletics Federations World Relays in 2015. Mr Sealey explained that the island nation is approaching international sports in a different way, and it now has the infrastructure to support future events in the global sports industry.

The Bahamas offers an array of sporting events all year round, from local cricket events to larger world-class golf tournaments. The islands boast several luxury resorts with excellent sports facilities including tennis courts, football fields, and designer golf courses.

Popular golf courses include the Ocean Club at Paradise Island, the Grand Isle Resort and Spa Great Exuma with its Greg Norman-designed course, and the Scottish-style links course at the Abaco Club at Winding Bay, The Abacos. On Eleuthera and Harbour Island, guests staying at luxury beachfront resorts can enjoy tennis lessons from pros, or visitors can take part in the Pineapple Fest Triathlon in Gregory Town, and the annual 40-mile annual cycling race.

When they're not taking part in sports, travellers can relax on any of the islands' white sandy beaches that are fringed with cobalt waters and swaying palm trees. The Caribbean archipelago boasts more than 700 coral islands, with just a handful of inhabited isles, including the main ones of Grand Bahama, Paradise Island, and New Providence.

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