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Beach venue for MiniEURO in Crete, Greece

Europe’s biggest minifootball tournament, MiniEURO kicked off in Crete on Thursday evening. MiniEURO brings together 24 of the best minifootball (5, 6 and 7-aside) playing nations, each of whom will be looking to wrestle the title from 2012 champions Romania.

Rethymnon in Crete provides the stunning backdrop, with the main pitch being situated on a specially constructed venue on the beach.

MiniEURO 2013 is being organized by the European Minifootball Federation (EMF), and its President Razvan Burleanu admitted he could not wait for the competition to start:

This has been the culmination of months of hard work on behalf of all of us, and it will be a truly magnificent spectacle of which the whole of Europe can be rightfully proud. Minifootball is the most inclusive of sports and we look forward to welcoming everyone to play in this great event of friendship and sport.

The tournament is being organized by the Greek Minifootball Federation and its president Thanos Papadopoulos said:

Everyone in Crete is looking forward to this so much, the beach side pitch makes this the most spectacular football event ever played and the sport will live up to the setting, I am certain!

The first miniEURO event, in Moldova last autumn, saw a crowd of 3,000 watch the final, between Eastern European minifootball powerhouses Romania and Montenegro, whilst this year the competition promises to be even bigger, with games being shown live on television throughout Europe. This year’s grand final is on 13 October.