Recent Posts

England’s blind football team training at St George’s Park last week. They played Germany twice and bedded in new players during their training camp. Photograph: Andrew Fox/The Guardian

The Guardian, Dec 3rd 2021

A game requiring unique physical and mental skills changes its players for life. Now the FA wants blind football to grow. 

Late morning at St George’s Park and the weather is perishing. Freezing rain is driving across the landscaped parkland that is home to England’s national football teams. At the back of the complex, apparently oblivious to the conditions, are the men’s blind team, thudding each other into the hoardings.

“If you’re not talking, you’re not doing the right thing!” hollers the head coach, Jonathan Pugh, known by everyone as Pughie, as he watches his players go through their drills. This is the first day of a crucial training camp, with a number of new young talents to be bedded in and two fixtures against Germany squeezed in for good measure, but it also comes at an inflection point for the sport.

Read More

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and British Blind Sport have revealed that the men’s and women’s IBSA Blind Football World Championships and the partially sighted World Championships will take place as part of the 2023 World Games in Birmingham, Great Britain.

The announcement was made with three years to go until the opening ceremony of Birmingham 2023. 

The World Games are expected to feature a total of 11 sports and are the largest high-level international event for athletes with visual impairments, with more than 1,000 competitors from around 70 countries. The trio of competitions are the most prestigious on the sports’ calendars, and the men’s blind football Worlds will be a qualifier for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

IBSA President, Jannie Hammershoi, said: “This exciting news is sure to grab the interest of football fans around the world, especially in Great Britain where the sport is hugely popular.

“With multiple World Championships showcasing the best that blind and partially sighted football has to offer, spectators will be able to get up-close to the action in Birmingham as well as experience the other sports at the same time.

“We expect a wonderful celebration which will follow on from the 2022 Commonwealth Games also taking place in the city, and ahead of Paris 2024. Be sure to follow the progress of the next World Games over the coming years as more excellent plans begin to unfold.”

Sallie Barker, Chair of British Blind Sport, said: “BBS is delighted and honoured that IBSA has awarded us the 2023 IBSA Blind Football World Championships.  

“This event will be a key component of the 2023 World Blind Games in Birmingham. Football is a very popular sport in the UK and by hosting this event, alongside the other sports in the World Games, BBS will be able to provide a great showcase for our visually impaired athletes and ensure we can leave a lasting legacy from hosting the World Games.” 

Jeff Davis, Para Football Development Manager at the Football Association, said: “The Football Association, UK Sport and BBS have worked together over the years to hold a variety of IBSA football tournaments successfully but to be able to promote and run all three World Football Championships, for the first time ever, during these games is a fantastic achievement and shows our continued commitment to Football For All. We hope the games will provide a showcase for the skills and passion of the athletes but also be the catalyst for young visually impaired people to see what they can achieve if they commit and train hard for the sport. 

Birmingham 2023 is now a key target for our teams moving forward and we cannot wait for the exciting challenge ahead”.

The World Games, due to take place from 18-27 August 2023, will be held at the University of Birmingham, across the Edgbaston area and wider region.Normally staged every four years the World Games are the pinnacle of IBSA’s international calendar outside of the Paralympic Games. With three Paralympic and eight non-Paralympic sports, for some athletes it is the highest level they can compete at. The last IBSA World Games were held in Seoul, South Korea, in 2015. A smaller version was held for judo and goalball – acting as qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 – in Fort Wayne, USA, in 2019.

Birmingham 2023 is expected to feature archery, powerlifting, judo, goalball, football, chess, tenpin bowling, shooting, cricket and showdown.

The IBSA Blind Football World Championships in 2023 follow a change in the sport’s cycle leading up to Paris 2024. Due to be held in 2022, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Worlds were moved to one year later to allow for regional Championships to take place in 2022.

The British Olympic Association (BOA), British Paralympic Association (BPA) and UK Sport welcome the news of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Chief Executive of the BOA, Andy Anson, said: “It is with profound sadness that we accept the postponement, but in all consciousness it is the only decision we can support, in light of the devastating impact COVID-19 is having on our nation, our communities and our families.

“Alongside UK Sport and the BPA, we have consulted with the National Governing Bodies of summer Olympic and Paralympic sports and with athlete representative groups, including our Athletes’ Commissions and the British Athletes’ Commission. It is with their input and support that we have a unanimous view that the impact of COVID-19 on athletes’ training and preparation means their regimes are now compromised irreparably. It is time for them to stop thinking about Tokyo 2020 for now and be home and safe with their families.

“It would have been unthinkable for us to continue to prepare for an Olympic Games at a time the nation and the world no less is enduring great hardship. A postponement is the right decision.

“We have incredible sympathy for the Tokyo 2020 organising committee and indeed our colleagues at the IOC, who are working tirelessly to seek a positive outcome to this difficult scenario. The Olympic Games is a symbol of hope for us all and we are sure that we will be in Tokyo at the right and appropriate time as the world re-emerges from this dark period.”

Sally Munday, CEO of UK Sport said, “We welcome today’s decision from the IOC, IPC and Japan that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be postponed. Given the unprecedented global challenge we face, today’s news means that athletes, their coaches and support staff can now fully focus on what really matters at this terribly difficult time, keeping themselves and their families safe.

“We are working closely with government to ensure we can effectively support sports and their athletes through this distressing period. I’d like to take the opportunity to reassure sports that our guidance from last week remains in place that we will not seek to recover any financial performance investment or Athlete Performance Awards due to disruption caused by COVID-19. We also realise that today’s decision has significant financial implications for our high performance system and we are working hard to identify the wide ranging impacts and scenarios and are in close contact with government to establish how best to support our summer Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes to be ready for the Games when they do take place.

“I’d like to thank all our athletes who are playing a role in so many different ways in these challenging times, from supporting their local communities to inspiring us to stay active in our own homes. I’d also like to reassure the public that whilst the games are postponed, we strongly believe the power of sport will inspire the nation again.” 

Mike Sharrock, CEO of the BPA, added: “The British Paralympic Association fully supports the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Stemming this global public health crisis and doing everything possible to safeguard the health and wellbeing of people should clearly take priority in these unprecedented times.  

“We welcome the clarity this now gives Paralympic athletes throughout the world who have had their training and qualification plans severely disrupted but also recognise it will still be a deeply unsettling time for athletes who have worked for years focussed on delivering their best possible performance in Tokyo this summer.

“The British Paralympic Association is already implementing contingency plans to ensure ParalympicGB athletes have everything in place to be best prepared for the Games when they are staged in 2021.

“We recognise that there are a huge range of factors to be considered when looking to postpone an event at this scale and we acknowledge the scale of the challenge for our friends at the Tokyo organising committee, the IOC and IPC in addressing these.

“Now is the time for us all to work together to overcome this global threat. Sport has a unique power to inspire and bring people together and we are certain that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games can be that beacon of hope for the whole world to focus on to show what the human spirit can achieve.”

We wish to state that this decision – to postpone the Games – should in no way be a reflection on the excellent organisation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games by the IOC, the Tokyo Organising Committee and the Government of Japan. 

Our thoughts remain with the families and individuals affected by COVID-19, as well as the front-line workers – including many health care professionals from the UK sports’ network – who are working to keep our communities safe and well.

We also sympathise with the many hundreds of athletes, both in the UK and globally, whose careers and personal ambitions are being impacted after many years of hard work and training. 

We remain committed to taking our Olympic and Paralympic athletes to Tokyo for the next edition of the summer Games, at the appropriate time, in the hope that it will be a celebration of the world re-emerging from this unprecedented time.


The Great Britain Deaf Men’s football squad have been drawn against Russia and Greece in the qualifying competition for the 2021 Deaflympics. The details of the game are as follows:



VENUE:  Shrewsbury Town FC, Montgomery Waters Meadow, Oteley Rd, Shrewsbury SY2 6ST;

KO: 1.30pm

The second game will be held in Greece on July 11th.

The FA has announced the appointments of Andrew Smith as the Head Coach of the England Deaf Men’s football team and Paul Harrison as the Head Coach of the England Deaf Women’s football team.

Both bring a wealth of experience from the professional game and in creating performance environments within Para Football and are currently working to appoint support staff to work with each team. Andy starts his work with the Men’s team this Saturday [14 December 2019] with the latest Deaf Men’s trials at St George’s Park, the home of the 27 England teams. Paul will join the Women’s team at the February camp.

Following consultation with UK Deaf Sports and GB Deaf Football, in 2019 The FA’s Disability Football Committee made the decision to refocus its funding over the next two seasons to help develop the national 11-a-side format. This follows an increased commitment to deaf football to formalise the 11-a-side competition pathway, ensuring there are three major competitions – World Championships, European Championships and the Deaflympics – in every four-year cycle.

Jeff Davis, The FA’s Para Football Performance Manager, said: “We are delighted to bring both Andrew and Paul on board for what is a new era in the national deaf football 11-a-side format. Both have great experience and it’s an exciting time for England Deaf Football as we look towards the 2020 Deaf World Football Championships in South Korea next September.”


Pop Up Panel

Here is the pop up panel you can use to promote of any product or service that you think your customers should see at the very bottom of the website. You can use 6 different modules positions between intro-1 and intro-6.