Madrid 2018: 5 things to know about ChinaWorld No. 3 blind football team is strong contender for title 25 May 2018
With less than two weeks to go until the 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football World Championships get underway in Madrid, Spain, here are some facts about world No.3 China.
• The Chinese blind football national team were formed in 2006 and have transformed into one of the strongest teams in the world.
• China have won the Asian Championships five times in 2007 (Seoul, South Korea), 2009 (Tokyo, Japan), 2011 (Sendai, Japan), 2013 (Beijing, China) and 2017 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).
• Additionally, China picked up silver at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and competed at the World Championships twice in 2010 (Hereford, Great Britain) and 2014 (Tokyo), claiming bronze in the former.
• They won the 2017 Asians after defeating Iran 2-0 in the final. As a result they qualified for this year’s World Championships for the third time.
• China’s captain Wei Jiansen is regarded as the team’s best player. He scored a total of five goals in the group stage and semi-final of the 2017 Asian Championships to claim the Top Goal Scorer Award.
China will play South Korea, Russia* and Mexico in group C in Madrid.
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.
*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.