Four things you should know about Great Britain’s blind football team
Date: March 19, 2018
Tension is building ahead of the 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships in Madrid, Spain.
With just 80 days until the first whistle blows on 7 June here are four facts about Great Britain, currently ranked at No.12 in the world.
- The team was founded by Tony Larkin at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford, Great Britain.
- They entered their first World Championships at Campinhas, Brazil, in 1998 and finished 5th. They stepped up their game in 2010, where they hosted the Blind Football World Championships and their fans saw them reach 4th place. Consequently, they qualified for the London 2012 Paralympic Games and finished in 7th place.
- Competing as England, the team went to Berlin for the 2017 IBSA Blind Football European Championships with a clear objective to attain a podium finish and qualify for Madrid 2018. They ploughed through the group stages, scoring a massive 22 goals whilst both goalkeepers kept clean sheets. After an agonising 2-1 semi-final penalty shoot-out loss against Spain, England missed out on the chance to play for the title. However, they achieved their objective of a podium finish by defeating France 2-0 to clinch bronze and qualify for the World Championships.
- Daniel English will be one of Great Britain’s key players in Madrid. His physical presence makes him an asset both in defence and attack, which he displayed at Berlin 2017 with five spectacular goals.
The 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships will feature 16 of the world’s best teams. As well as the title on offer the competition is also an important step on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
After the Opening Ceremony on 7 June, the group stages get underway on 8 June. The quarter finals and play-offs begin on 13 June with the final taking place on 17 June.