Blind football takes off around the globe

IBSA publishes statistics showing the rapid growth the sport is enjoying 12 Jan 2018
Men fighting for a football

Argentina beat Brazil at the 2017 IBSA Blind Football American Championships

ⒸRenan Cacioli/CBDV

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) has released statistics showing the global expansion of blind football, with a significant increase in the number of countries developing the sport and taking part in international events.

All regional competitions were held last year, with the Asian, European, African, Americas and Central American champions being crowned. A total of 36 national teams competed across all events, an increase on the corresponding figure for 2013 (21 countries) and 2015 (28).

In 2017, 15 European, four African, 11 Americas and six Asian countries took part in international events.

In addition, Romania staged the first-ever qualifier for the European Championships earlier in the year due to the large number of countries competing in blind football across the continent.

The 2017 ASEAN Para Games also featured blind football and there were a number of international friendly tournaments involving more teams.

The female version of the sport is also enjoying rapid growth, with Belgium’s Dorien Cornelis becoming the first-ever female player to compete at an IBSA Blind Football regional event, the first international club match taking place in Mexico and a number of countries announcing their women’s teams.

Full story is available on IBSA’s website.