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Paralympic Sports: Football 5-a-side

Sport week: History of football 5

Look back at the invention of the sport and its introduction to the Paralympic Games. 11 May 2016
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Spain Football 5-a-Side team

Spain's Football 5-a-Side team in action against Brazil.

ⒸNPC Spain
By Rafael Mendoza | For the IPC

Spain are considered the pioneer of blind football, having played the sport since the 1920s. Brazil, on the other hand, started developing football 5-a-side in the 1960s and held the first national tournament in 1974.

After the sport joined the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) in 1996, the first international competitions were held.

In 1997, the first IBSA European Championships took place in Barcelona, Spain, whilst Asuncion, Paraguay, hosted the first American Championships.

One year later, the first IBSA World Championships were held in Brazil. Since its inaugural edition, this competition has been dominated by Brazil, who have won four world titles, whilst rivals Argentina, have claimed two.

The introduction of the sport to the Paralympics, at Athens 2004, was undoubtedly the most significant moment in the history of football 5-a-side.

Brazil sealed the first gold following a 3-2 win over Argentina in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw. The 2016 Paralympics hosts have dominated the sport. They won gold at Beijing 2008 courtesy of a 2-1 win over hosts China, whilst at London 2012 they retained their title for a third time with a comfortable 2-0 win over France.

The Olympic Tennis Centre will host the football 5-a-side matches at Rio 2016. Eight teams, divided into two groups of four, will compete for gold between 9-17 September. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

Group A: Brazil, Iran, Morocco and Turkey

Group B: Argentina, China, Mexico and Russia

Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on paralympic.org. Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.

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Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.