Football is the oldest Deaf Sport; it has been included in the program of the Summer Deaflympics since 1924. To date football is one of the most prestigious and highly-attended (in terms of the number of participants) kinds of events in the program of Deaflympics that are held every four years under the aegis of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD). Currently, in addition to the Deaflympic football tournaments there are World and Continental Football Championships (European, Asian, Pan American), in which teams from more than 70 world countries participate. In 2005, Women Football was included in the program of the Summer Deaflympics. Futsal (men, women) is also being actively developed, World and Continental Futsal Championships are held regularly.
World Deaf sports movement has arisen in 1924. Eugène Rubens-Alcais of France became the founder of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (CISS-ICSD). Eugène Rubens-Alcais (1884-1963) was a competitive cyclist who came to be known as the deaf version of Baron de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympics. Rubens-Alcais developed his vision of international games for the deaf, patterned on the modern Olympics. He promoted the idea in his deaf sports magazine, The Silent Sportsman. Mr. Rubens-Alcais led his growing deaf sports movement as the President of CISS from its founding in 1924 until 1953.
From 1924 to 2010 National Deaf Sports organisations from more than 92 countries have Membership in the ICSD.
History of Deaf Games connects ICSD’ past with its future, the knowledge of history of development of world deaf sports movement helps achievement of new sports successes.
ICSD as organisation is recognised by the International Olympic committee (IOC) in 1951.
In 1924, according to their Constitution, ICSD has 6 sports among which there was football.
Under the aegis of the ICSD for 86 years 21 times were hold World Deaf Games which in 2001 have been renamed into Deaflympics by the International Olympic committee. All these years football was the integral making part of the World Deaf Games and then Deaflympics.
From 1924 World Deaf Games each 4 years are spent.
For deaf football players the World Deaf Games are the most important competition. From 1924 to 1965 football competitions held by Olympic system, with the subsequent definition of all places of participating teams.
From 1965 in connection with increase quantity of teams, qualifying matches on continents at first will be organised, 16 winners of qualifying groups come to final tournament. Team-winner of the previous Games and host country’s team are supposed to final without qualifying matches. In 2005 ICSD for the first time has started to hold women football.
Participants in the Games must be Deaf, defined as a hearing loss of at least 55 dB per tone average in the better ear (3-tone frequency average at 500, 1000 and 2000 Hertz, ISO 1969 Standard).
Football during World Deaf Games from 1924 (from 2001 as Deaflympics)
Now all over the world the large quantity of the Deaf takes a great interest in football. For development of this sport, holding competitions and international tournaments in high level, legal organisation DIFA (Deaf International Football Association) has been created.
On March 28th of 2015, DIFA became the associated member of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) at the 45th ICSD Congress in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.