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IBSA welcomes inclusion of blind football, goalball, judo in Paris 2024

Date: January 25, 2019

Category: Football

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) has welcomed the decision of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to include blind football, judo and goalball onto the programme for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The announcement was made on Friday (25 January) following a meeting of the IPC Governing Board.

As the International Federation for the three sports, IBSA took part in a 14-month application process to demonstrate why they deserve to remain on the programme.

This included providing evidence of worldwide reach and activities in areas such as anti-doping, governance and quadrennial competition programmes.

IBSA President, Jannie Hammershoi, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that blind football, judo and goalball are on the final list for Paris 2024. We feel strongly that they all fully deserve their place as sports that are constantly growing all around the world.

“In the last few years we have invested and focused on promoting the sports, classification research and also strengthening our anti-doping efforts. It is great that has led to the sports securing a place at one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.

“However the application process for the Paralympic Games gets more competitive every time. IBSA’s work does not end here and we are not going to sit back.

“We are constantly assessing how we can improve and provide the conditions for all three sports to maintain their places long into the future.”

The sports will be three of 22 contested at Paris 2024. In recent years IBSA Blind Football, IBSA Judo and IBSA Goalball have all initiated projects to grow and develop. These include the launch of classification research for blind football and judo and development workshops for goalball coaches, referees and athletes in Asia and Africa. Goalball will also begin research on a sport specific classification system in the near future.

Of the sports, goalball has the most history at the Paralympic Games. As a game unique to people with visual impairments, it made its debut at Toronto 1976. Judo followed at Seoul 1988 and blind football, or football 5-a-side, was added at Athens 2004.

All sports also have competition calendars featuring world and regional Championships as well as smaller-scale events. In 2019, regional events in Asia, the Americas, Africa and Europe, which are also qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, will take place.

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