Brazil are the reigning world champions ©IBSA

Spanish capital Madrid has been chosen to host the 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Blind Football World Championships.

The event in two years’ time, the seventh edition of the tournament, will be the first to feature the expanded 16-team format.

It is scheduled to take place at the ONCE Duques de Pastrana Sport and Culture Complex, located 13 kilometres from Madrid Airport, from June 17 to 25.

Players, support staff and officials will be housed at the Ilunion Pío XII Hotel, just 700 metres from the competition venue, according to the IBSA.

“I’m very pleased to see Madrid staging the Blind Football World Championships 2018,” IBSA Football Committee chairman Ulrich Pfisterer said.

"It’s very important to have different continents sharing this prestigious event, and Tokyo did a great job in 2014.

“Spain was instrumental in bringing blind football to Europe and developing it here.

“They have great facilities and I am confident their hospitality and organisational skills will be top quality.” 

The ONCE Duques de Pastrana Sport and Culture Complex will be the venue for the event in 2018 ©IBSA
The ONCE Duques de Pastrana Sport and Culture Complex will be the venue for the event in 2018 ©IBSA

The 2018 tournament will be the first Blind Football World Championship to be held in Spain since the 2000 edition, which was staged in Jerez de la Frontera.

The 16 participating nations are likely to be split into four groups of four, with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals.

The format still has to be ratified and confirmed by the IBSA.

“For us it’s a big challenge and an exciting one that places Spain at the heart of blind sports as an international benchmark once again,” Spanish Blind Sports Federation President Ángel Luis Gómez said.

“At the same time, it’s a big responsibility because we want each and every participant to enjoy the competition and take away some fond memories of their stay in Spain.”