Featured image, T. Kla Wesley Jr. (Liberia Beach Soccer)
On Feb. 5, the Liberia Football Association (LFA) presented its latest initiative, the Orange Beach Soccer League. Local and international brands, which include Orange, Hott FM, Conex, HOTT TV, and Guinness act as league sponsors. Altogether, Liberia’s new beach league consists of six teams: Ambassador, Blackman Warriors, Brewerville Raiders, New Generation, Sinkor Beach Soccer Club, and 24th St. Defenders.
About Beach Soccer
Beach soccer first began in Brazil in the 1950s and became an official game with rules in 1992. Since then, it has spread across other parts of the world. In 2005, FIFA incorporated beach soccer into the football family. That same year, it hosted the first Beach Soccer World Cup right where it all began.
Unlike traditional football, beach football is played barefoot on a sand pitch with one goal keeper and four outfielders. The football is not as inflated as a traditional football. In fact, beach footballs typically have 0.4-0.6 atmospheric pressure (atp) compared to a standard football’s 0.6 – 1.1 atp. As for the game’s length, three 12-minute-periods make up the time frame, and the sport has no draws, no offsides, and no walls to block freekicks.
Beach Soccer Worldwide, the largest beach soccer promoter and developer, works with football associations and six confederations around the globe to bring the sport to new audiences. In Africa, the national teams within the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Beach Soccer include Algeria, Burundi, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Tanzania, and Uganda.
With Orange and the LFA bringing a new beach soccer league to Liberia, beach players have more opportunities to compete. One day, Liberians could eventually see a national team in a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Who knows?
For now, fans can watch local teams play at Vamoma House in Sinkor. Orange Money sells tickets for 150LD. For those who can’t watch in-person, HOTT TV will stream live games.