INAS has announced that the 2018 INAS World Football Championships will be held in Sweden ©INAS

Sweden has been awarded the 2018 International Federation of sport for Para-athletes with an intellectual disability (Inas) World Football Championships, it has been announced.

The event, held every four years, has traditionally followed the FIFA World Cup with the previous editions being held in Brazil in 2014 and South Africa in 2010. 

However, in an effort for the event to build the tournament's own identity and profile, Inas elected to open bidding in line with its other major championships.

The tournament, 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 Inas events having successfully hosted the 2012 European Football Championships and the first Inas Global Games back in 2004.

The tournament will be held in the cities of Karlstad, Arvika and Kil located in the region of Värmland ©Inas
The tournament will be held in the cities of Karlstad, Arvika and Kil located in the region of Värmland ©Inas

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 recruit more players with an intellectual disability to compete at a higher level.

The 2014 edition saw eight teams compete from four regions, but the 2018 World Championships is set to expand to accommodate up to 12 sides.

Hosts Sweden will automatically have a place in the tournament, along with 2014 World Champions Saudi Arabia, who have confirmed their place following their victory over South Africa in the previous tournament.

Teams from across Europe will compete this September in Paris in the 2016 Inas European Football Championships, with qualification spots up for grabs for the 2018 event.

INAS is working hard with its other regional associations to deliver Regional Championship events in the Americas, Asia and Oceania and Africa in 2017 to provide a formal qualification route for the World Championships.

This will be a major milestone in the development of the sport, Inas claim, with only Europe having previously held regional championships.