Madrid 2018: 4 things to know about ThailandAsian team to compete in blind football Worlds for the first time 20 May 2018
Thailand are anxiously waiting for the start of the 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football World Championships in Madrid, Spain, where they will make their debut in the sport’s biggest competition outside the Paralympic Games.
Here are four facts you need to know about the team.
• The Thai blind football team was established in 2011. In that year, they made their international debut at the IBSA World Games in Antalya, Turkey. Though they finished last, they gained experience and, in 2013, hosted an open blind football tournament to teams in the region.
• The experience appeared to help as they were crowned 2014 ASEAN Para Games champions, remaining undefeated throughout the tournament. They picked up silver the following year in the same competition. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017, they secured their second title after beating Laos 3-0.
• Thailand made their first appearance at the Asian Championships last year in Kuala Lumpur. They narrowly lost their first game 2-1 to five-time Asian champions China, drew 2-2 with Japan and lost to Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallists Iran on penalties 3-2. Thailand then beat South Korea to take bronze and qualify for the Worlds.
• Keep your eyes peeled for striker Kittikorn Baodee. He is a goal scoring threat and proved that at the 2017 Asian Championships by scoring four goals to finish as second top goal scorer at the tournament.
The 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships will feature 16 of the world’s best teams. As well as the title on offer the competition is also an important step on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
After the Opening Ceremony and match on 7 June, the group stages get underway in earnest on 8 June. The quarter finals and play-offs begin on 13 June with the final taking place on 17 June.