Para Football
Para Football

England Deaf Women's squad to focus on futsal format

Thursday 13 Apr 2023

The England Deaf Women’s team will now play under the Futsal format of the game – and will focus their preparations on the World Deaf Futsal Championships in November 2023.

This change follows consultation with existing players and staff within the England Deaf Women’s squad and the wider Performance Programme, alongside key conversations with stakeholders representing the deaf football community.

Our decision to switch focus of the England Deaf Women’s team from the 11-a-side format to the Futsal format addresses the need for a new approach for the pathway, and to ensure there are regular international opportunities for players to perform on the world stage. The funding for this activity is repurposed from 11-a-side deaf female provision and is not new investment into a Futsal programme. 

The new focus also mirrors the decisions made by other nations who are respected in deaf international football and Futsal provision, with deaf female Futsal being the preferred format of the game for an increasing number of nations. An example of this includes German based deaf activity where the male pathway is represented by 11-a-side football with the female pathway being a futsal journey.

We have made a formal offer to England Deaf Futsal and UK Deaf Sport to become the lead organisation in delivering international provision for deaf female players within the Futsal format. This offer represents a record level of investment into deaf sport from a single National Governing Body of Sport. 

Programmes to increase participation rates of deaf female players in grassroots settings, including 11-a-side, will continue to be reviewed and implemented to establish long term growth within all formats of deaf specific female provision.

Baroness Sue Campbell, our Director of Women’s Football and the organisation’s strategic lead for disability football, said: “Our England para teams have experienced increasing success in recent years, and we are committed to providing them with the best opportunities to perform and showcase their talents on the world stage. 

“We’ve listened to our England Deaf Women’s squad, many of whom play the Futsal format of the game, and if our formal offer of leadership for this format of the game is accepted, it will provide them with opportunity to fulfil their potential and achieve the dream of succeeding at international level with regular fixtures – starting with the World Deaf Futsal Championships in Brazil later this year.

"I’d also like to thank England Deaf International Futsal and UK Deaf Sport for their part in the consultation process. The recent victory at the European Futsal Championships is testament to their hard work and dedication, and we hope to continue the legacy and build on this success.”

By FA Staff