Rio 2016 – Brazil and Great Britain to meet in the first match of the Football 7-a-side


Seven-a-side football has been a part of the Paralympics since 1984, and the first match of this year’s edition will be a clash between Brazil and GB.

Brazil is in Group A, together with Ireland, Ukraine and Great Britain. The current champions are Russia, who defeated two-time champions Ukraine at London 2012. Even though Brazil will come up against some tough opposition, they still have a decent chance of a medal, considering that they won silver and bronze, in 2004 and 2000, respectively.

7-a-side Football is played exclusively by men’s teams with cerebral palsy. Athletes are classified into different groups, from 5 to 8. At all times during the match, each team must field at least one 5/6 rated player, with a maximum of two class 8 players. Athletes with a higher degree of CP usually go in goal.

Other aspects which differentiate the sport from conventional football are the duration of the matches – 30 minutes per half – and that throw-ins can be taken with just one hand. Also, there are no off-sides.

Brazil and GB will kick the tournament off on 8 September, at the Deodoro Stadium.

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