Five things you should know about the blind football American Championships
Date: May 29, 2019
From 4 June six teams from across the Americas region will compete at the 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football American Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Here are five things you should know about the competition taking place until 9 June, when a new champion will be crowned.
Six teams will line-up
Blind footballers from six countries will travel to Sao Paulo in the search for glory.
Current world champions and hosts Brazil are the headline act and will go for an extra-sweet victory on home soil. Defending title-holders Argentina will also start as well as Colombia, the bronze medallists from 2017 in Santiago de Chile, Chile.
In-fact it was Colombian hot shot Juan Quintero who was the top scorer from two years ago, netting an impressive 12 goals for his country. Teammate Jhon Gonzalez also walked away with Player of the Tournament.
Chile and Mexico complete the line-up alongside Peru, who are preparing to host the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games in August.
Brazil and Argentina renew their rivalry
Argentina shook the blind football world in 2017 when they beat four-time Paralympic champions Brazil 2-1 on penalties to take the regional title.
Determined to regain their position as world beaters, Brazil then travelled to Madrid, Spain, in 2018 for the latest edition of the IBSA Blind Football World Championships.
Both teams had a great tournament in the early stages, topping their respective groups to advance to the quarter-finals. Easing through that round and then the semi-finals, the two Americas heavyweights faced off once again in the final.
This time Brazil emerged the victors after a close game that ended 2-0. Ricardinho and Ramundo Alves were the scorers and both players retain their place on the squad for Sao Paulo 2019.
Brazil will take on Argentina in the opening match of the competition on 4 June at 10am local time.
Credit: Madrid 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships
State of the art venue
All matches at the American Championships will be held at the state-of-the-art Brazilian Paralympic Training Centre.
Purpose built to develop the next generation of Brazilian para-athletes in 15 sports following the Rio 2016 Paralympics, the centre boasts training areas, football pitches, a hotel, convention centre, laboratories, physical conditioning and physiotherapy facilities.
Paving the road to Tokyo 2020
This edition of the Americas Championships will offer an even greater incentive to teams. As well as the title, the winners will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
The 2019 IBSA Blind Football American Championships will be shown live on Facebook between 4-9 June. The full match schedule can be found by clicking here.