The IBF Foundation Blind Football Neighbouring Countries Challenge Series (NCCS), supported by Santen grant programme, invites national teams worldwide to apply for financial support to hold international friendly matches with neighbouring countries as they reinitiate activities after the global pandemic. At the meeting of the IBF Foundation Board of Directors, grants were approved for 8 friendly international matches. The grant program was open for applications from January 2nd to January 15th2021, and we received 12 applications in total from national teams.
The selection committee was made up of four IBF Foundation members. Criteria for selecting the matches were pitch condition, transportation, accommodation, broadcasting, budget, blind football experience, and feasibility to organize properly. After deciding on the five matches that received the best evaluations, members selected three more matches after confirming the availability of budget and the conditions for accepting visitors from overseas.
The list of matches to be supported by the IBF Foundation NCCS is as follows
① Austria - Switzerland ②Argentina - Colombia (Women's national teams) ③Nicaragua - El Salvador ④Niger - Ivory Coast ⑤Nigeria - Ghana (both men’s and women’s national teams) ⑥Malaysia - Thailand (Conditioned) ⑦Iran - Russia ⑧Oman - India
Grants of up to 10,000 US Dollars were made available for projectsinvolving air transportation, while projects involving travel by land were eligible for a grant of up to 5,000 US Dollars. All projects must be finalized by November 30th, 2021.