Toronto 2015 preview: Football 7-a-side

World’s best player Jan Francisco aims to light up Toronto 2015 and win gold for Brazil. 03 Aug 2015
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Jan Francisco BRITO da COSTA, Ukraine, Brazil, football, seven-a-side, Ukraine vs Brazil, london 2012

Brazil's Jan Francisco BRITO da COSTA at London 2012 Paralympic Games

ⒸLieven Coudenys
By IPC

Competition dates: 8-15 August

Venue: Pan Am/Parapan Am Fields

Teams: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, USA, Venezuela

Medal events: 1

Tickets: Adults CAD 20 / U16 & 64+ CAD 15

Buy football 7-a-side tickets at Ticketmaster.

Introduction

Four of the world’s top 10 sides, plus Venezuela, will compete for Parapan gold. Rio 2016 hosts Brazil start as strong favourites after a third place finish at June’s World Championships in Great Britain.

The top ranked side (except Brazil) will qualify for Rio 2016. Games will take place from 09:00-13:00 each day.

Three players to look out for:

Jan Francisco Brito da Costa (Brazil)

Arguably the sport’s best ever player and one of the “must see” athletes of Toronto 2015. At June’s World Championships he staged his own goal of the tournament competition, scoring wonder strike after wonder strike.

David Garza (USA)

Goal scoring midfielder Garza is the captain of the US team and was instrumental in his side finishing seventh at the recent World Championships.

Wanderson Silva de Oliveira (Brazil)

Unfortunately for their opponents, Brazil are not a one man team! Wanderson is a prolific scorer who found the net seven times as his side cemented their status as the world’s third best team.

The sport

Football 7-a-side is played by athletes with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders, including stroke and traumatic brain injury. The game is played on a reduced field of play and is made up of seven players including the goalkeeper. Each of the two halves lasts 30 minutes. There is no offside rule, and throw-ins or rolling the ball back onto the field of play are allowed.

Prior to competition players are classified between FT5 and FT8. There must be one FT5 and only one FT8 on the field at any given time, which makes coaching and strategy challenging.

The venue

Grass playing fields at the University of Toronto have been transformed into two world-class hockey pitches ready to host football 5 and football 7-a-side competition.

Located at the university’s St. George Campus, the fields will be Ontario’s first international-calibre field hockey venue and will double the number of fields available for the sport in the Greater Toronto Area.

The facility is also expected to be the highest quality two-turf facility in Canada, according to Field Hockey Canada.

As a post-Games legacy, the fields will host a number of different sports at the University of Toronto, adding to existing sports facilities and greatly extending the intramural and recreational playing season on campus for students and community members.

Gates open two hours before competition.

A spectator map can be found in this document.