Sao Paulo 2017: football 5 and football 7 preview

The Youth Parapan American Games will feature around 900 athletes, aged 12-20 years old, from 20 countries competing across 12 sports, from 20-25 March. 11 Mar 2017
Ricardinho of Brazil and his team mates celebrate after scoring a goal in the men's football 5-a-side

Brazil made it four consecutive gold medals in football 5-a-side at Rio 2016.

ⒸAtsushi Tomura/Getty Images
By Sao Paulo 2017 and IPC

Football 5 and football 7 are two of the 12 sports featured in the programme of the fourth Youth Parapan American Games, set to take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, between 20-25 March.

Football 5

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico will face-off in a competition that will feature players aged 14-20 years old.

The hosts are the world’s best amongst seniors, having won gold at every Paralympic Games since the sport’s debut at Athens 2004. They will try to extend their dominance also amongst the youth.

“It is good for us to see that there is a generational turnover,” said Brazilian Head Coach Fabio Vasconcelos.

The 5-a-side football pitch is located beside the judo mat at the Brazilian Paralympic Centre.

The field adheres to the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) regulations, meaning it is made of synthetic turf and is covered, in order to create the necessary acoustics for the athletes to hear the noise-making device inside the ball, as well as their team-mates and guides.

The grandstands hold up to 228 spectators.

Football 7

The event will feature 14 to 20-year-old players, although only three aged 19 or 20 years are permitted on each team. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama and Venezuela will take part in the football 7-a-side tournament.

Brazil took gold at the latest edition of the Youth Parapan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013. The hosts claimed silver and Venezuela collected bronze.

Measuring 75m x 55m, the 7-a-side football pitch uses synthetic turf and is situated adjacent to the athletics track at the Brazilian Paralympic Centre.

The field is also equipped with floodlights to allow matches to be played at night and in cloudy conditions. There is a grandstand with a capacity of 198 people.

Around 1,000 athletes, aged 12-20 years old, from 20 countries are expected to participate in Sao Paulo, with 12 sports being contested: athletics, boccia, football 5, football 7, goalball, judo, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.

Buenos Aires 2013 attracted more than 600 athletes from 16 countries, who competed across 10 sports. Brazil topped the medal table and 15 countries reached the podium at least once.

Barquisimeto, Venezuela, staged the inaugural edition in 2005, with athletes from 10 countries competing, whilst a total of 14 countries attended the event in Bogota, Colombia, in 2009.

For more information, visit Sao Paulo 2017’s website.