WAFF and Para Football Aim to Develop Football for Persons with Disabilities in the Region

Wednesday 17/02/2021
The West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) adds football activities for persons with disabilities to its interests by working on a development project in cooperation and coordination with Para Football. 

WAFF and Para Football signed a new cooperation agreement, which includes an action plan to develop the game. Both parties start with strategic planning and then move onto the developmental side, later lead to practical application on the ground, in addition to joint work on implementing a comprehensive program to achieve many goals that include the development of football for persons with disabilities in West Asia. 

The project includes several phases that begin with an audit and analysis of the current situation, then hold a series of extensive workshops focused on football for persons with disabilities; also, provide guidance and best practice to help member associations activate their role in these types of activities and present encouraging and motivating success stories that contribute to increasing the level of interest. In addition to numerous developmental programs accompanying and sequencing the earlier stages of the project, and later organizing the 1st WAFF Para Football Championship for football players with disabilities. 

Furthermore, WAFF and Para Football will kickstart their series of activities by holding a launch event on February 24, 2021, with the participation of representatives of the member associations, to present the strategic plan regarding the development of football for persons with disabilities and the need to work to support this group across West Asia. 

Moreover, the General Secretary of WAFF, Khalil Al Salem, revealed that this comes to activate the federation's role and highlight this type of sport in its agenda within its continuous efforts to expand the circle of its programs to gradually include all competitive sectors of football as well as administrative activities for all players, based on its responsibility to support and develop football in the region and member associations alike. 

Al Salem added: By introducing football activity for persons with disabilities into its upcoming plans, WAFF aims to enhance the presence of this important segment of society into its system, believing in their right to practice football or any other sporting activities that contribute to integration and inclusion in the society, unloading their energies and occupying their time in a positive way, in addition to developing their mental capabilities and enhancing their healthy lives, in conjunction with his keenness to apply the concepts of social responsibility on ground. 

In his turn, Sam Turner, Co-Founder of Para football, considered this new cooperation between the two parties as a pioneering step to expand the opportunities in football for persons with disabilities, which is in line with the goals of Para Football, which are to always keenly provide all means to developing this sector and increase the number of its players around the world. 

He also confirmed that Para Football looks at this cooperation with optimism, especially in light of the encouraging signs that WAFF has shown to work to support this group in West Asia through the strategic programs and projects and, at the same time, expressed his confidence that this joint cooperation will achieve positive gains in the near future. 

Para Football is a new foundation and worldwide body of football for persons with disabilities, and it was registered in the Netherlands as a non-profit organization and founded in 2020 building upon a history of collaboration between international federations linked to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) which has now expanded to cover all types of football for persons with disabilities. 

Among the most prominent goals of Para Football is to bring together autonomous and independent international federations of football for persons with disabilities, support national and regional football associations to be more inclusive and ensure opportunity for persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in football.