England to play World Cup on home soil
Next summer between August 14 – 22nd, The FA are hosting the 2010 IBSA World Blind Football Championship at thePoint4, the new international-standard sports centre at The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford. The event – the largest disability football event ever to be held in England – will act as a direct qualifier for the Paralympics in London 2012 and will showcase the very best blind footballers from across the world as they compete for the most prestigious prize in the Sport.
It is the first time that the World Championship has been held in England and to celebrate the award of this major event on the road to 2012, The FA are holding a special celebratory launch when key figures from the sporting world, and guests from around the region, will have chance to hear about the plans and meet our national blind squad.
Ten countries, including hosts England and current World Champions Argentina, will join France, Spain and six other qualifiers (yet to be confirmed but likely to include China, Brazil and South Africa) at the Championships next August. The teams will be drawn into groups of five, with England's first group game to be played on the opening evening - Saturday 14th August - at thePoint4.
The draw for the tournament will be made next April at thePoint4, when England will take on Germany for a final pre-Championship warm up match. Tickets for Championship will be available next year.
Current captain of the England team Dave Clarke, who has 109 caps and has scored 106 goals for his country, says he and his team are absolutely delighted the Championships are coming to England. "It reflects The FA's commitment to disability football, and will demonstrate to the world the fine facilities we have in the UK for international tournaments like the World Cup. The England team are incredibly excited and intend to be picking up that cup next August."
As well as the tournament itself, The FA, Herefordshire County FA, Herefordshire County and City Council, and the Royal National College for the Blind will be working to create a lasting legacy from the event – including a raised awareness of issues around disability, the benefits of sport for all sectors of the community, and increased opportunities for participation. Schools, community groups, businesses and volunteers from across the West Midlands will be invited to take part in a number of sporting, educational and cultural events leading up to, and during the tournament. Opportunities will be promoted on this website, and via an interactive roadshow.
With the senior England team also playing in their own World Cup in South Africa, 2010 could be a magical year for football. Why not come along to thePoint4 at RNC and get behind the England squad as they bid to win some silverwear on home soil.
Story added: 23-11-2009