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Five Nations Confirmed for International Tourney in Malaysia


KUALA LUMPUR (4-23-03) - Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar, Vice-President of the Football Association of Malaysia, announced that five nations have been confirmed for the International Futsal Football (IFF) Championships set for June 3-8 at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia.

Brazil, Iran, Thailand, Malaysia and World Champion Spain are five teams that have accepted the IFF invitation to the 12-team bi-annual event.

Formally the known as the Singapore Tiger 5's, the IFF is the second most important international futsal tournament in the world. Spain won the 2001 tournament in Singapore with a 4:3 victory on penalty kicks over Brazil in the final after a 3:3 draw at the end of regulation and sudden death overtime on Dec. 2.

EUROPE

SPAIN HOST TWO AGAINST IRAN

Spain's Futsal National Team will host Iran in a two-game international friendly series Apr. 28-29. The first game will take place in Santander on Apr. 28, while the second match is set for the following day in La Rioja.

This is the first meeting between the two nations since the 2001 Singapore Tiger 5's when World Champion Spain blanked the four-time Asian Winners Iran 3:0 on Nov. 21.

ACTION 21 CHARLEROI, PLAYAS DE CASTELLON PLAY TO 1:1 DRAW
IN 2002-03 UEFA FUTSAL CUP OPENER

Host Action 21 Charleroi of Belgium played Spain's Playas de Castellón to a 1:1 draw in the first match of the two-game final for the 2002-03 UEFA Futsal Cup on Apr. 16.

The crowd of 2,300 at the La Garenne de Charleroi Hall saw Vander Carioca open the scoring in the 26th minute of the second half to give Playas de Castellón a 1:0 edge. Boukamir leveled the score for Action 21 Charleroi with a goal in the 33rd minute for the 1:1 final.

Playas de Castellón, which won the UEFA Futsal Cup last year, will stage the return match set for May 4, in Spain.

CYPRUS SWEEPS LEBANON IN TWO-GAME SERIES
Cyprus' Futsal National Team swept a two-game international friendly series from visiting Lebanon at the Higher Technical Institute Indoor Gym in Nicosia from Apr. 15-16.

Three goals by forward Agathoklis Agathokleous and a pair each from defender Marios Angelidis and midfielder Kostas
Poliviou led the host Cyprus to a 10:0 trouncing of Lebanon in the opener on Apr. 15. Cyprus completed the sweep with a 5:1 victory against Lebanon in the second match the next day.

NORTH, CENTRAL AMERICA

STEVEN TORRES JOINS CONCACAF

USDelegation.jpg (4118 bytes)Steven Torres joined the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Football Associations (CONCACAF) as their Press Officer on Apr. 22.

CONCACAF, which has been based in New York City since 1990, is one of six continental confederations of FIFA and serves as governing body of football in this part of the world.

It is composed of 40 national associations, from Canada in the north to Surinam in the south.

A native of New York City, Torres was previously the Public Relations Coordinator at the United States Soccer Federation in Chicago from June, 1999, through April, 2003. He was part of a seven-person communications department handling the media relations of all 12 mens and women's U.S. National Teams.

During his tenure, the 28-year-old Torres also served as the Press Officer for the U.S. Futsal National Team, which is part of the U.S. Futsal Federation under the banner of U.S. Soccer.

Prior to U.S. Soccer, Torres has worked in the FIFA World Cups held in the U.S., incluiding the Men in 1994 and Women in  1999. He also worked at the Madison Square Garden Venue for the 1998 Goodwill Games.

Torres began his career as an assistant in the field of college sports information at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. (1998-1999), Hunter College (1997-1998), and Long Island University-Brooklyn (1995-1997).

BALTIMORE BLAST DEFEATS MILWAUKEE WAVE FOR 2002-03 MISL TITLE
The Baltimore Blast staged a nine-point comeback to post a 13:12 victory over the host Milwaukee Wave in the third and final game of the best-of-three 2002-03 Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Championship Apr. 18.

The series' Most Valuable Player, Denison Cabral, sealed the win for the Blast at the 10:14 mark of the final stanza in front of 12,598 spectators at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. This is the first MISL title for the Blast since the 1983-1984 campaign.

KEITH TOZER EARNS FIFTH COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
Milwaukee Wave Head Coach Keith Tozer was named the 2002-03 MISL Coach of the Year on Apr. 17. In his
11th season at helm with the Wave, Tozer is a five-time recipient of the honor. Also the U.S. Futsal National Team Head Coach, Tozer is indoor soccer's all-time coaching leader with 532 career victories.

DINO DELEVSKI WINS SECOND CONSECUTIVE MISL MVP HONOR
Kansas City Comets forward Dino Delevski won his second consecutive MISL Most Valuable Player award Apr. 17. He led the league in total points with 140 at the end of the 2002-03 campaign. Delevski earned the league's MVP award following the 2001-2002 MISL season with a career-high 210 points.

OCEANIA

AUSTRALIA GOES WINLESS IN THREE-GAME SERIES AGAINST JAPAN

Australia's Futsal National Team went winless in a three-game international friendly series against visiting Japan in Brisbane Apr. 18-20. After a 1:1 draw in the opener, Australia dropped the second match 3:1. The next day, the host managed a 1:1 tie against the Japanese to conclude the series.

BEACH SOCCER

PORTUGAL CLAIMS SECOND STRAIGHT EUROPEAN PRO BEACH SOCCER
CHAMPIONSHIP

Portugal won their second straight European Pro Beach Soccer Championship with 6:3 victory over France in the final in Ličge, Belgium, Apr. 20. The fifth edition of the eight-team event saw Spain top Germany 6:3 in the third-place game, while host Belgium edged Italy 7:6 for the fifth spot. For more information check www.beachsoccer.com.

Fifth European Pro Beach Soccer Championship
in Ličge, Belgium - Apr. 18-20

Apr. 18 - First Round

1) France - Austria, 12:1
2) Spain - Italy, 11:7
3) Portugal - Switzerland, 8:0
4) Germany - Belgium, 6:5 pk

Apr. 19
Consolation Match, Italy - Austria, 11:5
Consolation Match, Belgium - Switzerland, 8:4
Semifinal, France - Spain, 5:4 ot
Semifinal, Portugal - Germany, 5:4 ot

Apr. 20
Seventh Place, Switzerland - Austria, 9:8 pk
Fifth Place, Belgium - Italy, 7:6
Third Place, Spain - Germany, 6:3
Final, Portugal - France, 6:3

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NOTE: Due to my relocation to New York City and to the new position at CONCACAF, the Futsal/Indoor Soccer World News newsletter will be on hold until further notice. I would like to say thanks to all for your support since the first issue in December, 2000, and I apologize for any inconvenience this may bring.

- Steven Torres

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