Sepp Blatter wants beach soccer at Rio

MARINA DI RAVENNA, Italy -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter is pushing for beach soccer to be included in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Speaking at the beach soccer World Cup Thursday, Blatter said there already are proposals to put the sport on the Rio program, but "the local organizing committee needs to take the initiative."

Blatter tells the ANSA news agency the event belongs in the Rio Games because it was born on Brazilian beaches.

Beach soccer probably could be inserted on the Olympic program as a discipline of soccer -- not as a separate sport -- meaning it would need approval only by the IOC's executive board ahead of the Games.

Beach soccer is played five to a side, with unlimited substitutions.