Ireland’s Cerebral Palsy football team was dealt a tough blow this evening as the official draw for the groups for this year’s Paralympic Games in Rio was made in Salou, Spain.
The draw, which took place at the Pre-Paralympic Games tournament where Ireland are due to face the USA tomorrow morning (Saturday, May 7th), saw Ireland place in Group A pitted against Ukraine (ranked second in the world), Brazil (ranked third in the world), and Great Britain (ranked seventh in the world).
Ireland is currently ranked fifth in the world, and will now be studying their games in the Pre-Paralympic Games tournament even harder, having been defeated by Brazil last Sunday (3-0) and also losing out to Great Britain on Monday (3-1), before going on to win against the USA and Argentina – both of whom are in the other side of the draw in Group B, alongside world number one Russia and the Netherlands.
Speaking about the draw, Head Coach JJ Glynn stated: “It’s the toughest draw we could have got but on a positive, we have played two of the three teams we will face in Rio this week so we know where we are in relation to them, and we know what we need to do to beat them.
“So for now, it’s heads down, work hard and we are looking forward to Rio – nothing comes easy, we always knew that. At the end of the day, we’ve made it to Rio, we didn’t make it to London so we are going to seize this chance and show the world what we can do.”