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.
Due to the growing number of participating teams and the expansion of Deaf Football geography, it was decided to establish the Deaf International Football Association (DIFA), which was officially registered by the Registration Chamber of Geneva (Switzerland) on 14 June 2010. DIFA is officially recognized international organization dedicated to the Deaf Football and Futsal promotion in the world. In 2015, DIFA became a full-fledged member of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf, also working contacts between DIFA and FIFA were established.
The primary goals of the DIFA activity are:
– development of football playing among the Deaf, as well as support of educational, cultural and ethical values of sports by the implementations of various youth and developing programs;
– holding football matches, organization of national and international competitions in cooperation with other associations;
– management of international sports relations connected with football in the framework of DIFA.
The main vector of DIFA work (in agreement with ICSD) is aimed at the development of youth Deaf Football and Futsal and the development of Deaf Football in the African region. To stick to this vector of development, DIFA successfully organized and held the 1st U-18 Youth World Deaf Futsal Championship (24.11-03.12.2017, Bangkok, Thailand), in which more than 100 persons from 8 world countries participated.