Groups drawn for 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships
Date: April 23, 2018
The groups for the 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships were drawn in host city Madrid, Spain, on Monday (23 April).
Sixteen teams will play in four groups between 7-17 June at the Colegio Sagrado Corazón.
Defending champions Brazil have been drawn in Group D alongside Great Britain and two debutants, Costa Rica and Mali. Brazil will play their first match against Mali on 8 June.
Spain have been drawn in group A with Turkey, African champions Morocco and Thailand. The hosts will play Thailand in the opening match on 7 June.
Asian title holders China will take on South Korea in their opening group C game. European gold medallists Russia and Mexico are also in the group.
Rounding off the draw was Americas champions Argentina, France, Colombia and Iran in group B. Argentina and Iran will be the first fixture.
The draw was hosted by IBSA Blind Football Committee Chairperson Ulrich Pfisterer. He was joined by a series of dignitaries and players, past and present, from Spanish football and sport.
Madrid 2018 gets underway on 7 June with the Opening Ceremony and the first group stage match. The quarter finals and play-offs begin on 13 June with the final taking place on 17 June. As well as the title on offer the competition is also an important step on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
All 44 matches will be held at the Colegio Sagrado Corazón which has capacity for 400 fans. Entry will be free to spectators.
Brazil are the headline act having won four consecutive Paralympic titles and three successive world titles.
The competition will also be the biggest in history with six teams qualifying for the first time. Mexico, Costa Rica, Mali, European champions Russia, Thailand and Iran will all make their debuts.
The 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships are being organised by FEDC and the Spanish National Organisation for the Blind (ONCE).