Cerebral Palsy World Championships: Iran visa row boosts England chances

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships

England's hopes of Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships success have been boosted after the Iran squad failed to get visas.

The championships kick off at St George's Park on Tuesday and England's performance could help Team GB's chances of Paralympic qualification.

Iran, ranked fifth in the world, were one of England's group-stage opponents.

Iranian officials say they submitted forms on time and have complained to the International Paralympic Committee.

The Football Association were informed of the situation last Monday and contacted the British Embassy to try and resolve the situation, but were unable to do so.

The tournament, which is part of the qualification process for Rio, will now have 15 teams.

England, ranked 10th, open their campaign against Japan, ranked 15th, on Tuesday (13:00 BST) but their match against Iran on Thursday will not take place.

European champions Ukraine are the third team in England's group and the two will meet on Saturday (17:00 BST).

Scotland, ranked eighth, and Northern Ireland, ranked 13th, are also competing at the tournament, but they do not qualify on behalf of Great Britain.

The final will be played on 28 June.