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Blind football World Grand Prix heading to Tokyo

Date: March 12, 2021

Category: Football

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) have announced that the blind football competition calendar will re-start in Tokyo, Japan, from 30 May-5 June after more than a year’s hiatus.

It is hoped that the Santen IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix in Shinagawa, organised by the Japan Blind Football Association (JBFA), will be an exciting preview to this summer’s Paralympic Games as it aims to attract all eight of the qualified teams.

Paralympic champions Brazil, hosts Japan, Argentina, China, France, Morocco, Spain and Thailand have all been invited. Countries that do not attend will be replaced by other top-ranking teams.

The competition will also be a key classification opportunity for athletes ahead of Tokyo 2020, addressing some of the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the cancellation of competitions last year.

Japanese players run across the pitch watched by hundreds of fans

Ulrich Pfisterer, Chair of the IBSA Blind Football Committee, said:

“We are absolutely delighted that we will get back to the pitch in a few months’ time, and there is no better place than Tokyo for that to happen. The World Grand Prix has become a hotly anticipated feature of the calendar since it began in 2018 as the city prepares to stage the Paralympics.

“The competition is always of the highest quality, as is the organisation. This year especially, the committee, organisers and IBSA are also happy to be able to support athletes and teams with the opportunity to be classified.

“We cannot wait to see what the world’s best teams have got to offer with less than three months until the Paralympic Games.”

The Santen IBSA Blind Football World Grand Prix 2021 in Shinagawa will be organised and run according to the sport’s Back to Competition Guidelines for COVID-19.

It will be the first sanctioned competition since November 2019 when the IBSA Blind Football African Championships took place in Enugu, Nigeria.

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