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University of Warwick to host the UKs top deaf footballers for Challenge Cup semi-finals

Some of the best deaf footballers in the UK will be pulling on their boots at the University of Warwick on Saturday as they go for glory in the England Deaf Football Challenge Cup semi-finals.

Birmingham take on Fulham in the first semi-final with Cardiff City facing Derby in the second game at the University’s Sport Pavilion for a spot in the Challenge Cup Final, which will be played at Keynsham Town Football Club, Bristol, in May.

Oliver Eadsforth, General Secretary of England Deaf Football, said: “Deaf Football has been going from strength to strength over the past nine years and this weekend’s matches are all set to be an exciting and thrilling affair.”

Hearing aids must be removed for the games so referees in any matches involving deaf teams blow their whistle for a foul at the same time as waving a flag or a piece of bright cloth.

Officials point towards goal-kicks, corners and penalties in the normal way.

University of Warwick’s Deputy Director of Sport James Ellis added: “It is great news that University of Warwick is hosting the EDF Challenge Cup Semi-Finals, both for the University and the players.

“It gives the four teams involved the chance to play on FIFA accredited pitches and use the same facilities as the professional football teams who use the University as a regular training base.”

Over 300 deaf players are registered with England Deaf Football, with over 175 matches played since 2003.

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) have been running football friendly awareness projects for the past four years, aimed at encouraging deaf children to get involved in the sport and helping coaches, officials and volunteers support in sign language and understanding how deaf people communicate.

For more information about England Deaf Football visit www.englanddeaffootball.com or to find out more about the NDCS go to www.ndcs.org.uk

Click here to find out more about the sports facilities on offer at the University of Warwick

Notes to Editors

For more information or to confirm photographer/journalist attendance contact Luke Hamer, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick, on 02476 575601, or on 07824 541142. Alternatively email l.hamer@warwick.ac.uk