Canada Para Soccer in Denmark for Qualification Tournament
Posted on 27 July 2016 in Para Soccer
Canada Soccer's National Para Soccer Team have set their sights on Denmark, Finland, and Japan in the group phase of the 2016 IFCPF Qualification Tournament. Canada will face all three opponents over four days starting this Friday 29 July, with only two of four teams qualifying for next year's 2017 IFCPF World Championships.
"We have talked about our goals: we need to finish in the top two in our group to advance, but we would like to finish first to win the group," said Drew Ferguson, Canada Soccer's National Para Soccer Team Head Coach. "Our next goal would be to reach the gold medal game."
From 13 nations in Denmark, eight will qualify for next year's 16-nation IFCPF World Championships in Argentina (with eight nations previously qualified in 2015). In Denmark, the top-two nations from each group will qualify for Argentina 2017.
Canada's three group matches are 29 July against Denmark (16.00 local / 10.00 ET / 07.00 PT), 30 July against Finland (18.00 local / 12.00 ET / 09.00 PT), and 1 August against Japan (11.30 local / 05.30 ET / 02.30 PT). The top two nations will then advance to the Quarterfinals on 3 August.
The first two matches at Field 1 will be broadcast live (CP Football Denmark 2016 on Youtube) while the third match at Field 2 will be broadcast on delay.
"We open against the hosts Denmark, so we have to stay focused and not let them get settled in or start to fly around," said Ferguson.
Canada arrived in Vejen this week and have been treated very well by the local organisers. All 13 nations have had access to excellent facilities for training. On Wednesday, players were reviewed for their official IFCPF classification from CP-5 to CP-8.
"The classification process was very positive for our team," said Ferguson. In seven-a-side Para Soccer, there must be at least one CP-5 or CP-6 player on the pitch at all times.
Denmark is the ninth different country in which Canada's Para Soccer team have participated at the international level since the program's inception in 2004. In past editions of the IFCPF World Championships, Canada have finished as high as ninth place, doing so at the 2009 edition in Arnhem, Netherlands.
Canada's Para Soccer Team is made up of athletes who have cerebral palsy or have had a stroke or brain injury. Athletes that are interested in Canada's Para Soccer Team should contact coach Drew Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org.