With only a couple of weeks until the World Cup in Russia, many people up and down the country will start to get very excited. However, there’s always one thing that puzzles me, why isn’t there an accompanying world cup for those with disabilities?
Well There Is One!
Well, in fact there is. In the same year as a World Cup is held, there is a similar competition for those with intellectual disabilities. Generally, the tournament is held in the same country as the host of the famous world cup, but this year the tournament is being held in Sweden, not Russia.
This competition has been held since 1994. In 2002, England won the competition.
But there’s little in the way of World Cups for those with physical handicaps. It seems backwards when you consider there are the Paralympics, Invictus Games and others. There was even a World Cup of multisports held every year in Manchester for those with physical disabilities, but it hasn’t run since 2013.
Isn’t it about time that there was an equivalent to the Paralympics? After all, the FA has several regional and national competitions and organisations to help those with disabilities get into football. One of the most reported on is the football tournaments for those with visual impairment. This is very popular and if you have a chance, is well worth watching.
The World Stage
There is a wheelchair world cup. In 2017, England sent a team to participate in the competition. However, it’s not widely known about. It’s not featured on the news, or on television, and therefore doesn’t get the same level of exposure as the Paralympics or Invictus Games.
This is something that needs to be rectified. After all, without knowledge, how can we inspire the next generation of youngsters to get into sport? It’s easy for those without handicaps, the World Cup is a great inspiration, but we need inspiration for those who do have a disability. And the start of this should come from FIFA and the FA, the two regulatory bodies of the footballing world.
What do you think? Does the football community need to do more to promote sports for the disabled? Let us know in the comments