Madrid 2018: 4 things to know about Russia

European champions looking to win their first world title 08 Apr 2018
a group of male blind footballers raise their arms in celebration

Russia are the 2017 European Blind Football Champions


The world’s best blind football teams are fine-tuning their preparations and are getting ready for the biggest competition on the calendar: the 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football World Championships, set to take place in Madrid, Spain, from 7-17 June.

After winning the 2017 IBSA Blind Football European Championships, Russia* appear as one of the leading contenders for the title.

Here are four facts about the team that will make their World Championships debut in Madrid.

• Blind football first appeared in Russia in 2004 as part of the Russian Federation President’s Cup.

• Russia won their first European Championships in Berlin last year after beating London 2012 silver medallists France in the semi-finals and seven-time European champions Spain in the gold medal-match.

• They ended fourth at the inaugural World Grand Prix in Tokyo, Japan, last month.

• At their World Championships debut, Tikhonov will be a key player, with his nimble dribbling and sharp shooting.

Madrid 2018 is also an important step on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

After the Opening Ceremony on 7 June, the group stages get underway on 8 June. The quarter finals and play-offs begin on 13 June with the final taking place on 17 June.

*Editor's note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.

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