Powerchair World Cup takes place in Paris

A growing sport with more than 4,000 registered players, powerchair football was the focus in Paris last week as the second FIPFA World Cup took place in the French capital.

Winners the United States are presented with the trophy in Paris
Winners the United States are presented with the trophy in Paris ©Gregory Picout

The second FIPFA World Cup for powerchair football has taken place in Paris with the United States getting the better of England in Sunday's final, 3-0, to defend the title they won in the inaugural tournament in Tokyo four years ago.

UEFA President Michel Platini and former France midfielder Emmanuel Petit, patron of the French powerchair football team, had made the draw for the ten-team competition in September, with England and hosts France being joined by Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal and Ireland to form a strong European contingent at the Halle Carpentier venue.

A fast and technically skilful game, powerchair football is growing all the time, with 14 countries currently members of governing body FIPFA and more than 4,000 registered players. The sport is played using specially designed electric wheelchairs that are equipped with a footguard on the front which allows players to shoot or pass a ball that is one and half times larger than those used in able-bodied football.

FIPFA (International Federation of Powerchair Football Associations), founded in 2006, also organised an international development conference on the sport in Paris to coincide with the five-day tournament, featuring several presentation and information sessions.

With powerchair football now recognised by the International Paralympic Committee, it is hoped the sport will become part of the Paralympic Games in 2020. More information on the World Cup can be found on the championship's official website.