IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix cancelled
Date: February 28, 2020
The 2020 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football World Grand Prix, set to take place from 16-21 March in Tokyo, Japan, has been cancelled due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The decision was taken by the Local Organising Committee, in consultation with IBSA, after advice from the Japanese government.
Ulrich Pfisterer, Chairperson of the IBSA Blind Football Committee, said: “We are hugely disappointed that the World Grand Prix has had to be cancelled. The competition has helped to set the stage for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics since 2018 and we expected this year’s edition to be particularly special.
“I would like to thank the Japanese Blind Football Association for their efforts in trying to ensure the event went ahead, which included scaling it back and holding it behind closed doors.
“We do however completely back the Local Organising Committee in their decision to be guided by national authorities when staging international sport events at the current time.”
The 2020 IBSA Blind Football World Grand was set to host teams from eight countries. These included Paralympic and world champions Brazil, European title-holders Spain, hosts Japan, Asian champions China, France, Argentina, Thailand and Germany.
The World Grand Prix has been held every year since 2018 and was designed to attract interest from fans and media in Japan ahead of Tokyo 2020. The competition was not a qualification tournament for the Paralympics.