After the World Cup, the World Blind Football Championship

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The draw for the 2010 World Blind Football Championship has been finalized at London's Wembley Stadium by Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's Director of Football Development, and George Cohen, the English right-back who was part of England's 1966 World Cup winning squad.

After the draw on Monday 12, the England men's team were put into Group A with Colombia, South Korea, and Japan. Group B contains world champions Argentina alongside Brazil, who, like their South American compatriots, have also won the title twice since its first occurrence in 1998. Cameroon, China, and the current European champions, France, will be joining them.

Blind football is a variant of 5-a-side football, with all outfield players wearing eye shields regardless of visual impairment. The football itself contains ball bearings, meaning that it can be located by sound rather than by sight.

The IBSA World Blind Football Championship itself is to be staged at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford, England, August 14-22. The college has constructed a £21m (€24m) sports complex called thePoint4 which contains fitness, health, and leisure facilities, and has become the training camp for both the England men's and women's set-ups, as well as attracting the interest of Britain's Paralympic venue committee and several top paralympic athletes as well.

Coverage of the tournament is to be arranged by the FA, and while Sky Sports was present for the draw at Wembley, it is understood that several national and European broadcasters have expressed an interest in the finals.

Capacity at the RNC's grounds is being expanded in advance of the event as well. Full price match tickets are to be priced at £5 a head (€5.70), and the college are doubling spectator seating to hold up to 1,000 around their top class outdoor pitch, with an indoor court on standby should it be required.

More information can be found at the Blind2010.com website.

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