The Para Football Steering Board will manage a new worldwide foundation to ensure football is for everyone ©Para Football

A new worldwide foundation, Para Football, has been formed to bring together the International Federations (IFs) governing the formats of football for persons with disabilities.

The foundation works with national football associations and IFs to develop inclusive opportunities in football at all levels, from grassroots through to elite, ensuring all are a part of the sport.

Individuals and partner organisations will provide tailored support and guidance to assist each Para Football member.

Para Football says its mission is to "ensure opportunity for persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in football."

Jan-Hein Evers, President of Para Football said: "Together we are stronger, and our united collaboration will grow football for all persons with disabilities. 

"Through the platform of Para Football, we are better equipped to support National Football Associations and key football stakeholders, ensuring a joined-up approach at all levels. 

"As a network for Para Football, doors will be opened, barriers removed, and best practice shared to tackle the mutual challenges we face.

"Football is a sport for everyone."

Para Football aims to ensure that football is for everyone, from the elite to grassroots level ©Para Football
Para Football aims to ensure that football is for everyone, from the elite to grassroots level ©Para Football

Para Football will be managed by the Para Football Steering Board.

Members of the Board are the International Federation of Powerchair Football Association (FIPFA), Football International Federation for Players with Down syndrome (FIFDS), the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), the International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF), the International Football Committee on Mental Health (IFCMH), the International Federation of Skate Soccer (IFSS), the World Amputee Football Federation (WAFF) and World Intellectual Impairment Sport (Virtus).

Further federations may be added in future. 

John Ball, sport director at Virtus, said: "As we build towards the Virtus World Football Championships in 2022, we are pleased to support Para Football as we seek to give more people with an intellectual impairment, down syndrome and autism around the world the opportunity to enjoy football, work with the best coaches and access competition to the highest possible."

This collaborative approach is designed to create a more effective and sustainable way of working, increase the awareness of all ways to play football and provide a positive development of the game.

Each federation is expected to bring a wealth of experience, skills, and expertise to the partnership.