The Football Association (FA) will host the 2010 IBSA World Blind Football Championships at The Royal National College (RNC) for the Blind in Hereford. The Championships will take place in the RNC’s new, international standard sports centre between 14-22 August. Ten countries will contest the Cup, including reigning World Champions Argentina and hosts England, currently ranked fifth in the world.
England captain Dave Clarke, who has 109 caps and has scored 106 goals for his country, says he and the England team are absolutely delighted the Championships are coming to England. “It reflects The FA’s commitment to disability football, and will demonstrate to the world the fine facilities we have in the UK for international tournaments like the World Cup. The England team are incredibly excited and intend to be picking up that cup next August.”
Blind football is played on a solid surface with five players in each team. The four outfield players must wear eye-patches and blindfolds, while the sighted goalkeeper cannot leave the penalty area. The football contains ball bearings so that it makes a noise when it moves.
The championships will be the largest disability football event ever to be held in England, and they will act as a direct qualifier for the Paralympics in London 2012.