Madrid to host 2018 Blind Football World Championship

Brazil celebrate winning the 2014 title Photo: IBSA

The next Blind Football World Championships will be hosted by Madrid, Spain the International Blind Sports Association announced on Tuesday afternoon. That event will be hosted from June 17-25 2018, the seventh staging of the World Championship, following on from Tokyo staging the event successfully in 2014.

The 2018 World Championship will be hosted by the Spanish Blind Sports Federation (FEDC) and will be supported by a number of other Spanish blind and sports organizations. A notable supporter will be the Spanish National Organization of the Blind (ONCE) who will be providing the host venue for the tournament, the ONCE Duques de Pastrana Sport and Culture Complex, which has two fields appropriate for blind football.

Brazil will come in to the tournament as the defending champions, having won four years ago, and also winning the last time the event was hosted in Spain, back in 2000. The Blind Football World Championships have only been one by one other nation, Argentina, who have picked up the two titles that Brazil didn’t win.

A big issue in organizing these events is the accommodation for the delegations, and in Madrid they have an impressive set up, with a four-star hotel less than one kilometer away from the venue. That hotel, the Ilunion Pio XII Hotel will act as the official hotel of the tournament, hosting all the officials, players and staff for the event.

The event continues Spain’s strong support of blind sports, something relished by the FEDC President Angel Luis Gomez who said in a statement “For us it is a big and exciting challenge that places Spain at the heart of blind sports as an international benchmark once again, at the same time, it is a big responsibility because we want each and every participant to enjoy the competition and take away some fond memories of their stay in Spain.”

The head of the IBSA Football Committee, Ulrich Pfisterer emphasized Spain’s role in Blind Football , “Spain was instrumental in bringing blind football to Europe and developing it here. They have great facilities and I am confident their hospitality and organisational skills will be top quality.”

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