HEREFORD is hosting a quad-nations blind football tournament this summer.
England will be lining up against Paralympic and World Champions Brazil, European champions Spain and rivals Italy in the competition at Hereford’s Royal National College.
People from Hereford turned out in force when the college hosted a hugely successful IBSA Blind World Championship in the summer of 2010.
Brazil were outstanding and won that competition four years ago.
“We are looking to test ourselves against the best players in the world,” said Jeff Davis, from the FA.
“It won’t be as glitzy as the event in 201l but local people will still be able to come along.”
The tournament is scheduled to take place between May 29 and June 1.
The event will be a boost to the England blind football squad who have had their full-time funding withdrawn by Sport England.
Davis said: “We appealed against the decision by Sport England and they have turned down our appeal. They didn’t think the blind squad would meet its performance target of a medal in Rio.
“We are looking to bridge the funding gap to allow the lads to continue on a full-time basis.
“Our first point of call will be the FA and we have to make a strong enough case to continue to fund the programme. “
The England squad will also have trips to Germany and France this year.
England boss Pugh said: “We want to prove to people that we are good enough and we are back to where we belong. We are now unbeaten in five matches.”
He added: “We are trying to get Tony Larkin to support me and to be a mentor because he has so much experience and a lot to offer.”