Football 7-a-side has become the first sport to complete its qualification process for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Argentina became the eighth and final team to earn a spot at next year’s Paralympics, when the tournament will be contested at the Deodoro Stadium in Deodoro Olympic Park.
Argentina confirmed their place by winning the silver medal at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games on 15 August. The Argentines lost 3-1 to arch rivals Brazil in the gold-medal match. But Argentina still earned a berth to Rio 2016 because Brazil already had their spot guaranteed as the host nation.
According to the IPC qualification rules, the winners of three regional championships – the 2014 European championships, the 2014 Asian Games and the 2015 Parapan American Games – would qualify for Rio 2016.
Ukraine qualified by winning the 2014 European title. However, the Asian Games did not have enough teams to meet qualification criteria, which states that a minimum of five countries much participate for the event to be eligible as a Paralympic qualifier. Thus, the remaining teams were decided via the 2015 World Championships held in June at Burton upon Trent, Great Britain.
Russia qualified after defeating Ukraine in the World Championship finals. With Ukraine and bronze-medal winner Brazil already qualified, the remaining quotas went to the next top-four teams: the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland and the USA.
Tickets to the Paralympic Games will go on sale to Brazilians and residents of Brazil on 7 September, which marks one year to the Opening Ceremony. Overseas fans will be able to buy tickets through authorised ticket resellers (ATRs) in their countries. Details will be available on http://www.rio2016.com/en on 7 September.
Football 7-a-side teams heading to Rio 2016: