In the heart of the United Arab Emirates, away from the bustling streets of metropolitan cities, Ras Al Khaimah unfolds…
Thirty-two of the world’s leading football nations will be represented at this year’s Minifootball World Cup, which will be staged in Ras Al Khaimah for the first time from 26 October to 4 November.
Football fans unite! The region’s first ever Minifootball World Cup is coming to Ras Al Khaimah this October, bringing together the world’s best amateur players, football enthusiasts, and sports aficionados from around the world.
The event, which is being staged under the banner of “Home for Everyday Legends”, will showcase the skills and passion of the unique six-a-side footballing format, with venues located close to Ras Al Khaimah’s iconic and historic landmarks.
Since its inaugural event staged in the United States in 2015, the Minifootball World Cup has proven an exhilarating spectacle, attracting teams from around the world to compete for the title of Minifootball World Champions.
The tournament has grown significantly over the past eight years, with 12 teams competing in 2015 and hosts the United States being crowned champions.
In 2017, Tunisia hosted the event, with 24 teams competing. The eventual winner was the Czech Republic followed by runner-up, Mexico. Senegal and Spain took third and fourth place.
Meanwhile, the most recent Minifootball World Cup took place in Perth, Australia in October 2019, with 32 teams competing. Mexico was crowned champions after beating Brazil in the final. Romania and Hungary took third and fourth place respectively.
Match tickets available free of charge
The Minifootball World Cup promises the ultimate fan experience, with dedicated fan zones being planned across Ras Al Khaimah that will feature live telecasts of matches, musical performances and various F&B venues.
Unlike other major sporting events, tickets to World Cup matches will be made available free of charge, making this up-and-coming grassroots sport accessible to all. To secure tickets, fans simply need to register their details online (website coming soon).
Expected to draw thousands of spectators to Ras Al Khaimah, the tournament will further cement the emirate’s reputation as one of the region’s sporting capitals.
Ras Al Khaimah already plays host to a significant number of high-profile sporting events, including the RAK Half Marathon – the world’s fastest half marathon – road cycling competition UAE Tour, and internationally renowned golfing championship, the DP World Tour.
The world’s best footballers on show
The format of the Minifootball World Cup is similar to that of the FIFA World Cup, with teams divided into groups for the competition’s initial stages before progressing to the knockout rounds. The tournament is played over the course of two weeks, with matches taking place every day.
Hosts the UAE will face off against Kazakhstan, Ghana and India in Group A, while defending champions Mexico find themselves in Group B with Guatemala, Georgia, and Ireland.
Favourites Brazil headline Group E alongside Bulgaria, Montenegro and Japan. The USA is in Group D and will battle with Romania and Spain to secure a place in the round of 16.
Each team competes in a round-robin format in the group stages, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the knockout stage, which includes the round of 16, quarterfinals, and semi-finals. The highly anticipated final will be staged on 4 November.
One of the unique aspects of the Minifootball World Cup is the tournament’s atmosphere, which is unlike any other major sporting competition. Despite the fierce competition on the pitch, there is a sense of camaraderie and sportsmanship among the teams. Players from different countries often exchange jerseys after matches, and there is a real sense of community among the participants.