World Intellectual Impairment Sport – the International Federation of sport for para-athletes with an intellectual disability – is pleased to announce that the 2018 World Intellectual Impairment Sport World Football Championships are awarded to Sweden.
The Championships, held every four years, has traditionally followed the FIFA World Cup with the previous editions being held in Brazil and South Africa. However in an effort for the event to have its own identity and profile World Intellectual Impairment Sport elected to open bidding in line with its other major championships.
The Championships, to be held in August 2018, will be organised by the Swedish Parasport Federation and Swedish Paralympic Committee in the cities of Karlstad, Arvika and Kil located in the region of Värmland.
Sweden are long supporters of World Intellectual Impairment Sport events having successfully hosted the 2012 European Football Championships and the 1st World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games back in 2004.
The Organising Committee hope that by hosting the event it will not only strengthen the relationship with the Swedish Football Association but also act as a catalyst to recruiting more players with an intellectual disability to compete at a higher level.
The 2014 edition saw 8 teams compete from 4 regions, but the 2018 World Championships is set to expand to accommodate up to 12 teams. Hosts Sweden will automatically have a place in the tournament, along with 2014 World Champions Saudi Arabia confirming acceptance of their place following their victory over South Africa in the 2014 final.
Teams from across Europe will compete this September in Paris in the 2016 World Intellectual Impairment Sport European Football Championships, with qualification spots up for grabs for the 2018 event. World Intellectual Impairment Sport is working hard with its other regional associations to deliver Regional Championship events in the Americas, Asia/Oceania and Africa in 2017 providing a formal qualification route for the World Championships. This will be a major milestone in the development of the sport with only Europe having previously held regional championships.