About the event
Blind football basics and tournament history
Blind football is played on a solid surface, generally indoors, with a football containing bearings so that it makes a noise when it moves. Each team consists of five players; outfield players are classified as B1, which means that some may have some light perception, although eye shields are worn during games to counter this; goalkeepers are sighted, but cannot leave their area. In blind football, there are no offside rules.
The international governing body for blind football is the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA), which was established in Paris in 1981. The organisation is responsible for a number of sports, including football; this is overseen by a Technical Director, Carlos Campos, with other members being elected from each county's own association. The current elected member representing England is Tony Larkin, Manager of the England blind team.
On a national level, the game is governed by British Blind Sport.
The Blind World Championship is held every two years, with European Championships and World Games also held on a two year cycle. This means that the National Team will play in major championships every year. The blind team is eligible to compete in the Paralympics every four years, subject to qualification and resolving the 'Great Britain' debate.
Past competitions and winners
- 1998: Paulinia, Brazil (winners: Brazil);
- 2000: Jerez, Spain (winners: Brazil);
- 2002: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (winners: Argentina);
- 2006: Buenos Aires, Argentina (winners: Argentina);
- 2010: Hereford, England.
There has been one major international tournament staged in England for the blind team - the 2003 European Championships, held in Manchester. There has also been an Open European National Tournament held in England, also in 2003, in Hereford.