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Argentina, India, Guatemala to host major blind football Championships

Date: October 27, 2021

Category: Football

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football has announced the dates and locations of three major regional and sub-regional Championships to take place in 2022.

First-up will be the 2022 IBSA Blind Football American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 20-29 October, which will also feature the first women’s Americas Championships.

Argentina host after winning their first men’s Paralympic medal since 2004 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Los Murciélagos ‘The Bats’ claimed silver against arch-rivals Brazil. They return to the pitch also as silver medallist from the 2019 Americas Championships.

Six countries are expected to compete, including reigning Paralympic and world champions Brazil who will also try to defend their regional title.

The competition will be hosted by the Argentine Blind Sports Federation, FADeC.

The following month will see the best blind football teams in Asia go for glory at the 2022 IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships in Kochi, India, with a historic debut for women’s teams in the region.

Chinese blind football players link arms and embrace
Credit: Haruo Wanibe

From 9-20 November the Indian Blind Sports Association will stage the competition which is set to show the growth in the quality of the sport since Tokyo 2020 for the men, and mark a watershed for the women.

Thailand, China and Japan all qualified for the Paralympics with China finishing as the region’s top finisher in fourth. China are also the defending Asian champions, claiming the title ahead of Iran and Japan in second and third.

The 2022 IBSA Blind Football Central American Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala, will round off the calendar from 3-10 December.

The third edition of the competition, hosted by Comité Pro-Ciegos y Sordos de Guatemala, continues to give teams the chance to compete on a sub-regional level and gain qualification for larger events. Costa Rica are the defending champions.

Argentinian players pause as a ball flies into their goal
Credit: Haruo Wanibe

All three championships will be qualifiers for the men’s 2023 IBSA Blind Football World Championships taking place as part of the IBSA World Games in Birmingham, Great Britain. Birmingham 2023 will see countries secure places for the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

Ulrich Pfisterer, Chair of the IBSA Blind Football Committee, said: “It is fantastic to round off the Paralympic year by announcing some of the competitions which will form the journey to the next Paralympics.

“At Tokyo 2020 we once again saw how quickly the sport is evolving. The quality of the players increases with every edition and a huge part of that happens at regional and sub-regional Championships. It is hugely exciting to think about what Buenos Aires 2022, Kochi 2022 and Guatemala City 2022 have in store for us on the road to Birmingham 2023 and beyond.

“Our thanks go to all the organisers who we are confident will stage great events.”

This article was amended on 29 October to reflect the fact that the first IBSA Blind Football Women’s America’s Championships will be held in Buenos Aires.

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