The International Blind Football Foundation - a new support scheme for national teams worldwide.

The IBF Foundation Blind Football Neighbouring Countries Challenge Series, supported by Santen grant programme invites national teams worldwide to apply for financial support to hold international friendly matches with neighbouring countries as they reinitiate activities after the global pandemic.

The goals of the IBF Foundation Blind Football Neighbouring Countries Challenge Series, supported by Santen grant programme are:

- to help reactivate blind football globally as we move towards a new reality following the global pandemic caused by COVID-19;

- to assist countries to overcome the financial difficulties they may face in returning to international competition;

- to present a positive image of our sport to the world and demonstrate that blind football, with proper health, hygiene and safety protocols and procedures in place, can offer a safe, virus-free environment for visually impaired athletes.

The IBF Foundation invites countries to pair up with neighbouring countries and submit joint applications for funding to organize and play 2 friendly international matches in one of the two. Applications must be submitted by two organisations from adjacent countries or, where air travel is required, two organisations in countries under five hours flying time from each other.

The games must be played by the national blind football teams of the two countries engaged in the programme. Successful applicants will stream the matches live to showcase the skills of blind footballers in the post COVID-19 era, and the IBF Foundation plans to launch an official website to show the games.

Organizations will be allowed to apply for the grant only once and a strict health and hygiene protocol must be respected during the event to prevent infections.

Grants of up to 10 000 US Dollars are available for projects involving air transportation, while projects involving travel by land are eligible for a grant of up to 5 000 US Dollars.

Countries interested in benefitting from this grant programme must complete and submit the required documents to by Saturday January 2nd, 2021 @ 12:00 Tokyo time. Following evaluation by the IBF Foundation grant programme team, successful applicants will receive confirmation by Friday January 15th, 2021 @ 12:00 Tokyo time. All projects must be finalised by November 30th, 2021.

About International Blind Football Foundation (IBF Foundation)

IBF Foundation was established on January 11, 2019, with the vision of "Blind Football Can Eliminate Disability". The foundation's aim is to improve the quality of life of the visually impaired around the world by making blind football a sport widely played internationally and contributing to the organizational strength of national sports organizations. Through blind football, the foundation works to solve the three elements of disability (impairment, activity limitation, and participation restriction) as defined in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health by the World Health Organization (WHO), by taking the following three approaches: (1) intermediate support activities, (2) cooperation with partners, and (3) acting as an independent business.

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