The International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (INAS) has launched a search for hosts for the 2022 INAS Football World Championships.
The competition is one of the most popular on the calendar and takes place every four years. Expressions of interest are invited from INAS members by 14 December 2018.
The 2018 edition took place in Karlstad, Sweden, in August with Saudi Arabia claiming the title.
John Ball, Chairperson of the INAS Football Committee, said: “This summer Sweden hosted an exceptional competition which raised the bar for future World Championships.
“As well as high quality training and match facilities across multiple venues, there was also a livestream of the games and the local organisers invested in raising awareness of the competition to the media and public in Sweden.
“By starting the bid process earlier than in the past, we therefore hope to give the winning Local Organising Committee the maximum possible time to prepare and deliver another exceptional event.”
The 2022 Worlds could feature 12 teams all vying for the title. After the expressions of interest closes, the INAS Football Committee will work with interested members on submitting their full bids by 30 June 2019.
INAS looks to grow women’s game
Alongside the bid process for 2022, INAS also announced an aspiration to develop the women’s game.
The football committee is currently consulting with the INAS membership on which countries have a women’s team and who has a desire to build a side. The aim is to host the first international competition for female players with an intellectual impairment. This could be a full 11-a-side tournament or futsal.
Nick Parr, INAS Executive Director, said: “We play a crucial role in the growth of Paralympic and non-Paralympic sports all around the world. The development of women’s football is an important element of that drive.
“This year we launched our #WeAreSport project, which aims to inspire more women and girls into sport in the digital age. By using social media to promote themselves, we hope that the athletes that took part can be even bigger role models for the next generation.
“Perhaps, with the work of the INAS Football Committee and the results of #WeAreSport, in 2022 we might be able to host a World Championships for women too.”
Countries interested in hosting in 2022 should send their expressions of interest, including provisional dates and venues, to email@example.com. Those who already have a women’s team, or who plan one in the future, are also encouraged to contact the same address.