Blind football European and African Championships head to Italy and Ivory Coast
Date: October 19, 2018
The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football have announced that the 2019 European Championships and 2019 African Championships will be staged in Rome, Italy, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast, respectively.
Both competitions will offer regional titles and the chance for teams to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Rome will host the Euros from 15-24 September whilst Abidjan 2019 will take place from 15-26 November.
IBSA Blind Football Committee Chairperson, Ulrich Pfisterer, said: “We are delighted to award Italy and the Ivory Coast these very prestigious and important competitions for 2019.
“Italy staged a very successful European Championships in Loano in 2013 whilst the Ivory Coast will host the Africa Championships for the first time.
“We are expecting some impressive performances from players as they go for titles, and also compete with the clock ticking down to Tokyo 2020.
“I would like to thank both Local Organising Committees for their bids and commitment to delivering two top-class events.”
Spain just missed out on gold on penalties at the last Euros in 2017.
Rome 2019 will be organised by the Italian Sports Federation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (FISPIC) at the Centro di Preparazione Paralimpica.
Their President, Sandro Di Girolamo, said: “We are proud to announce that IBSA has nominated us as host of the next European Championship in Rome. It will take place in the Centre of Paralympic Preparation, a world class venue where we will organise the event drawing from our national and international experience in this field.
“We are pleased to have you in Italy and to introduce you to Italian sport as well as our culture and history.”
The Ivory Coast Blind Sports Federation will host the African Championships.
The European Championships will feature 10 teams whilst around eight countries are expected to compete at the African Championships.
The gold and silver medallists from Rome will qualify for Tokyo 2020 as well as the winning team from Abidjan.
The last Euros were held in Berlin, Germany, in 2017 where Russia claimed the title after where Russia claimed the title after beating Spain 4-3 on penalties.
Praia, Cape Verde, hosted the African Championships in the same year. Morocco overcame Mali 8-1 to secure the cup.
Caption: Mali made an impact on their World Championships debut in 2018 and will hope to build on their experience in the Ivory Coast.