World's first para-football association

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) is to create the world's first affiliated national association dedicated to para-football.

Powerchair football in Scotland
Powerchair football in Scotland ©SFA

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) is to create the world's first affiliated national association dedicated to para-football. Following an investment of more than £100,000 from the SFA, the Scottish Para-Football Association will empower individual para-football associations to run their game according to their own wishes.

The Scottish Para-Football Association will include different associations governing a variety of types of para-football, including amputee football, cerebral palsy football, deaf football, frame football, learning disability football, mental health football, powerchair football and visual impairment football. It will provide sustainability for the individual associations, recognising the demands placed on their volunteers and allowing them to grow at a speed suitable to their own needs.

The creation of the organisation was announced at the inaugural Scottish para-football conference, held at the national sports training centre in Largs on 18 February.

The conference welcomed affiliates from para-football associations across the country to network, share best practice on para-football initiatives and hear from guest speakers, including Aileen Campbell, Scottish government minister for public health and sport.

Andrew Gould, head of football development at the SFA, said: "We are delighted to be at the leading edge of innovation in para-football through the creation of the world's first para-football affiliated national association. Para-football is a key element of our One National Plan, our grassroots football strategy launched last year, and the creation of the Scottish Para-Football Association through this significant investment further demonstrates our commitment to providing football for all. It is important for us to allow para-football players to make decisions affecting their league and national team for themselves, and the Scottish Para-Football Association will empower the individuals playing the game to run their own game."

Aileen Campbell, minister for sport, also welcomed the initiative: "With the creation of the Scottish Para-Football Association – believed to be the first of its kind in the world – Scotland is leading the way globally in creating pathways for people to participate in football and fulfil their potential."

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct No 176

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