- Fourth World Deaf Football Championships
- Fourteen men’s and 12 women’s teams took part
- Spain and Brazil took home the silverware
While there is still just under eight months to go until the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2020™ – the tournament emblem was only unveiled in the country’s capital, Vilnius, some days ago – the world’s best hearing-impaired futsal teams have already been crowned.
Spain clinched the men’s title and Brazil lifted the women’s trophy at the fourth edition of the World Deaf Football Championships in Winterthur, Switzerland.
After a thrilling final, La Roja emerged with a 5-4 victory over hosts Switzerland. "We gave it our all and can be proud of finishing second – it’s fantastic," Swiss team manager Reto Thurnherr said after his side’s result.
Meanwhile Brazil outshone all of their rivals in the women’s competition. The South Americans finished the tournament with six wins from as many matches, scoring 63 goals along the way while conceding just six. They even capped off their impressive campaign with a resounding 4-0 win over Poland.
"Unbelievable, unbelievable! My dream has really come true," said Josiane Maria Poleski after the final whistle. "We did the thing we have dreamed about for many years. We’ve finally done it. We’ve won the World Championships," she continued, with a broad smile.
"I’ve invested so much and fought so hard. We’ve always supported each other within the team and worked so, so hard. I went to training every evening after school, which was a real strain, but I wanted to do it no matter what."
The World Deaf Football Championships is organised by Swiss Deaf Sport together with the ICSD (International Committee of Sports for the Deaf). Only players who are deaf or hard of hearing are allowed to compete.
The tournament also receives support from the FIFA Foundation.
The former deaf futsal world champions at a glance: