On first Sunday of February 2020, in a Krzysztofory Palace located next to the famous Krakow’s main square, an Offical Draw for European Amputee Football Championship 2020 was held. Gathered guests were welcomed by Major of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, Polish Ministry of Sport, Danuta Dmowska-Andrzejuk as well as President European Amputee Football Federation, Mateusz Widlak.
Before the Draw started, President of EAFF handed four special awards for remarkable contribution to developing amputee football in Europe. The Golden Crutches were awarded to: Patrick Gasser – Head of UEFA Football and Social Responsibility Unit, Arif Ümit Uztürk – President of Turkish Sport Federation for Physically Disabled, Simon Baker – former EAFF General Secretary and Dave Tweed from England Amputee Football Federation.
Also presentation of a hand-made trophy was one of the highlights of the ceremony.
“You prove relentlessly that football breaks all visible and invisible barriers. It will be a great European fiesta in a beautiful Polish city” – said Robert Lewandowski, ambassador of the tournament, in a special message dedicated the participants of the ceremony
Turkey, and England – the gold, and silver medallists of last Amputee Football EURO as well as Russia and Poland were drawn from the first pot.
With the bronze medalist and the 4th team of the last European Championship, Group A seems to be the strongest. In recent years Poland has faced Spain several times. The teams competed in a bronze medal game in the Euro 2017 as well as a 7th place match in the World Championship held in Mexico. The Polish team won both games. The most important match will be with the Polish team. Poland is the favourite in the group. But it is for sure, that we will come to Cracow fight for the medals – said Alberto Martinez Vassalloe from the Spain Federation. Poland vs Ukraine will compete in the opening game on 13th September.
England will compete in Group B with France, Greece, and Azerbaijan. A head coach of the English teams disagrees that it was a good draw. “I think we have a difficult group. Some teams are more developed than others, but all the teams that come to the tournament have quality. The tournament will be very tough”- said Owen Coyle
In Group C Russia the Amputee Football World Champion from 2014 will play with Ireland, Belgium, and Germany.
Turkey will compete in Group D with Italy, Georgia, and Netherlands. The title defender and silver medallist of last the World Championship is the main favorite of the tournament. “We respect every opponent, but we are not afraid of anybody, and we will come here to defend the title” – said Osman Çakmak, the coach of the Turkish team.
The two best teams from each group will advance to quarterfinals. The draw also established the way to the final. The first team from group A will compete with the second team from group B and the winner of Group B, will play with the second team from Group A. The winners will meet in a semifinal. Groups C and D will follow the pattern.
The European Amputee Football Championship Krakow 2020 will be held from 13th till 20th September 2020 in Cracow. Sixteen national amputee football teams will play forty-eight matches at three venues: Cracovia Stadium, Garbarnia Stadium, and Pradniczanka Stadium. The Great Final will be played at Cracovia Stadium on 20th September. Entrance for all matches is free to spectators. All the games will be broadcast live online.