Four things you should know about Thailand’s blind football team
Date: May 8, 2018
There are just 30 days to wait until the 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships kick off in Madrid, Spain, on 7 June.
The Asian region is well represented, including Thailand who are ranked 17th in the world.
Here are four facts you need to know about the team.
- The Thailand national blind football team was established in 2011. In that year, they made their international debut at the IBSA World Games in Antalya, Turkey. Though they finished last, afterwards Thailand gained more experience playing other nations in Asia and hosted an open blind football tournament to teams in the region in 2013.
- The experience appeared to help as they were crowned 2014 ASEAN Para Games champions and were undefeated throughout the tournament. They picked up silver the following year in the same competition. But in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2017, they remained undefeated and beat Laos 3-0 in the final to win their second title.
- Thailand made their first appearance at the IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships last year in Kuala Lumpur and were compact in defence. They narrowly lost their first game 2-1 to five-time Asian champions China, drew 2-2 with Japan and lost to Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallists Iran on penalties 3-2. Thailand faced South Korea in the bronze medal match, which they won 2-0 with a brace from their renowned striker Kittikorn Baodee. That meant that they qualified for the World Championship for the first time ever.
- Keep your eyes peeled for striker Baodee. He is a goal scoring threat and proved that at the 2017 IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships by scoring four goals to finish as second top goal scorer at the tournament.
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 and match on 7 June, the group stages get underway in earnest on 8 June. The quarter finals and play-offs begin on 13 June with the final taking place on 17 June.