By Emmanuel Rossel

20th Deafympic Games, Melbourne 2005 – Football

Events during the qualification games of all the continents-2004

A total of 35 countries were divided over the four continents (Africa 4, North-America 2, South-America 2, Asia 9, and Europe 18). These countries, not including the title defender and host country, registered to participate in the 20th Deaflympic Games in Melbourne.  Only 16 countries made it to the finals, including the host country and the title defender. 

The qualification games for the final rounds in Melbourne faced with some problems. Several countries, such as: Canada (North-America), Sweden, Denmark, France, Croatia, Israel and Spain (Europe) and Swaziland (Africa), had to cancel their participation due to a lack of financial support from their government.

Unfortunately, the Technical Director of football could not attend any qualification game due to lack of financial support. The presence of the technical director is often necessary in order to judge the positive and negative aspects of the matches. 

Russia and Great-Britain are automatically qualified for the final 16 because Denmark and Spain dropped out. Additional problems were caused by the cancellation of 2 groups (France – Denmark and Croatia – Israel). Consequently, there were two vacancies in the finals of the European countries. We were considering to enter the losing countries in this final 16. In order to avoid any more cancellations, the technical director contacted all participating European countries to supply to ICSD a proof by 7 May 2004, that would affirm that the teams would have necessary financial and logistic support for Melbourne Games.  We only  received one answer, from Greece. After a meeting with the executive committee of the ICSD during the seminar in Lausanne (Switzerland), the Greek soccer team was automatically added to the final 16. The other vacancy was assigned to the Asian continent (3 countries instead of 2, not including the host country).

The US is automatically qualified because of the cancellation by Canada. Argentina won the qualification game against Chile. (2 – 1)

As for Asia all qualification games took place in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) linked to the Asian soccer championship. Those countries, which gained the first three places of the final rankings, are qualified for the finals. Those countries are: Iran, Saudi–Arabia and Japan.

Concerning the African continent the games were only played back and forth. 4 countries registered for the 20th Deaflympics: Swaziland, South-Africa, Nigeria and Ghana. The semi finals between Swaziland and South-Africa did not take place because Swaziland did not respond to the request of South-Africa and the Secretary of the ICSD. The cause for this situation is poor communication infrastructure in Swaziland.

The second game of the semi finals was held between Nigeria and Ghana, but the game did not go flawlessly. The forth game ended in 3 - 0 for Nigeria because Ghana was not present during the game. Ghana won the back game, 5 – 0. The final between South-Africa and Ghana went very well according to the report of the executive committee of the African Confederation of the Deaf. For the first time in the history of the Deaflympics, the soccer team from Ghana participates in the final 16 for the 20th Deaflympic football competition in Melbourne.

Herewith you will find the complete results of the soccer qualification games of all continents in this E-News.

Emmanuel Rossel
ICSD Technical Director - Football