The Scotland squad, made up of 11 individuals each with a lower or upper limb amputation, will face their international counterparts this weekend [28-29 October]. With 10 matches played across two days, it promises to be an exhilarating tournament that will bring multiple amputee football nations together.
Fife was an obvious choice for the host destination, not only for its exceptional sports facilities, but because it’s the home of Scotland national amputee player, Iain Matthew of Glenrothes. Iain (47), who is both a player and Director of the charity, has been instrumental in bringing the major tournament to Fife. Iain is well known in Fife following a dazzling sporting career that saw him win multiple medals in the Paralympics, World and European Championships, and the Commonwealth Games in swimming.
Fife Council and Fife Sports & Leisure Trust have been equally instrumental in bringing the tournament to the area, which is set to cost the modest amputee charity tens of thousands. The Fife institutions have provided support in many respects - from facilities, venue and equipment to volunteers and logistics. What’s more, with the tournament taking place at the ground of the Hillhead Swifts F.C, the home club will be providing ball-girls for the matches, making it a true community effort.
Amputee football in Scotland is run by Scotland Amputee Football Association (AFAS) and the charity, together with Fife Council and Fife Sports & Leisure Trust, is calling on locals in Fife to come along and support their national team and cheer on the lads at Dalgety Bay. Entry is free and entertainment is guaranteed.
Amputee Football Association Scotland was set up in 2017 to create opportunities for those with limb loss to participate in the beautiful game. The organisation is a Game Leader of Scottish Para-Football, the Scottish FA’s governing body for all forms of para-football in Scotland. The Nations League is organised by the European Amputee Football Federation of which AFAS is a member.
Eighteen teams will play in the inaugural Amputee Football Nations League, with teams split into four divisions. Each division will enjoy a tournament in a different location on a different date. Scotland is a host nation, along with Poland, France, and Belgium. The team in last place in each group will be relegated to the lower division, with the best team being promoted to the higher division.
Jimmy Dunbar, Area Manager at Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, commented: "We were delighted to have been approached and to help support the delivery of this fantastic and inspiring tournament and to secure this event within Fife. We have continued to work closely with event partners and look forward to welcoming Scotland as the home nation and other European countries participating at Dalgety Bay Sports & Leisure Centre."
Ashley Reid, founder of Amputee Football Association Scotland, commented: “It’s an honour to be hosting this tournament in Fife, where Iain’s career began, and where there are such exceptional sporting facilities. AFAS is a modest charity run by a handful of volunteers so to have the backing of Fife Council, Fife Sports & Leisure Trust and Dalgety Bay Sport & Leisure Centre has been instrumental to us hosting this tournament successfully and we are very grateful.”
Scott Urquhart, Head of Operations at Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, highlighted the significance of the Amputee Football Nations League competition beyond just the sport itself, stating: "This competition is not just about the sport itself; it's about inclusivity, determination, and the power of sports to bring people together. We are proud to be a part of this event and to provide a welcoming environment for the Scotland and European teams at Dalgety Bay Sports & Leisure Centre."
The tournament will take place from 28-29 October 2023 at Dalgety Bay Sports and Leisure Centre.
Amputee football is unexpectedly fast paced, dynamic and physically gruelling on the upper body. It is well established across the world, with leagues operating in more than 30 countries worldwide. The Amputee Football World Cup took place in Istanbul, Turkey in October 2022, where hosts Turkey triumphed over former champions Angola in a nail-biting 4-1 defeat. The Scotland squad currently plays in the Irish Amputee Football league. The game is played on crutches with teams of seven-a-side. Those in goals must have an upper limb amputation while those outfield a lower amputation.
Visit: Amputee Football Association Scotland @scotamputeeFA