What is Cerebral Palsy Football?

Cerebral Palsy Football (CP Football) is for athletes with cerebral palsy, or a acquired brain injury, and is a team sport played as a recreational activity, or competitively at club, national, regional and international level. 

Fomerly known as 'Football 7-a-side', CP Football has been part of the Paralympic Games programme since 1984. 

Football has the power to bring people together and to break down barriers. It a great spectator sport that athletes with Cerebral Palsy get tremendous pleasure from taking part in.

What is Cerebral Palsy Football?

The ‘International Federation of CP Football’ is the international governing body for the sport of CP Football. Officially formed in January 2015, CP Football became an independent sport after 37 years under the ‘Cerebral Palsy Sport and Recreation Association’ (CPISRA).

IFCPF is responsible for the leadership, management and governance of CP Football, with a governing Board elected by our membership, and Management Team appointed by the Board to oversee day-to-day operations of the organization.

Our organisation is a ‘Recognised International Sport Federation’ by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). CP Football (Football 7-a-side) has been a Paralympic sport since the 1984 New York (and Stoke Mandeville) Paralympic Games.

Who can play?

Cerebral Palsy Football (CP Football) is for athletes with cerebral palsy, or a acquired brain injury.

  • Cerebral” means brain-centred. “Palsy” signifies a lack of muscle control. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is defined as a heath condition affecting movement, muscle tone, reflexes and posture, primarily due to a shortage of oxygen in parts of the brain for a certain period of time at birth or very young age.


  • An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury caused to the brain since birth. There are many possible causes, including a fall, a road accident, tumour and stroke.
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is a form of acquired brain injury which occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object cuts the skull and enters brain tissue. Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.

Sport Rules

IFCPF Modifications to the Laws of the Game

Our athletes are football players and therefore play the game according to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) Laws of the Game. Utilising the IFAB Laws of the Game as a basis for the sport rules of CP Football ensures a universal understanding and affords a foundation to work from which has been created through great expertise and resource. 

The IFAB Laws of the game are accompaned by the 'IFCPF Modifications to the Laws of the Game'  to make the sport of CP Football more attractive and accessible for ambulant players with Cerebral Palsy and other neurological conditions.


Some of the adaptations

  • 7-a-side
  • A match lasts two equal periods of 30 minutes
  • Field of Play - Length: 70m Width: 50m
  • A maximum of five (5) substitutes may be made within a maximum of three (3) opportunities 
  • Players with sport class FT1, FT2 and FT3. Each team must field at least 1 class FT1 and may have a maximum of 1 class FT3 player.
  • The offside rule does not apply in CP Football
  • As well as throw-ins, players may roll the ball into play, which must touch the ground once it has left the players hand. (within approximately 1m). 


Athletes competing in CP Football have Ataxia, Hypertonia or Athetosis - three impairment types that are most commonly associated with individuals having neurological impairment, with a motor control impairment of a cerebral nature, causing a permanent and verifiable activity limitation.

On the field of play the teams consist of 7 ambulant athletes, with cerebral palsy or an acquired brain injury, ranging from classes FT1 to FT3. In total 14 players can be listed on the team list.

Complete rules of eligibility and classification for CP Football are detailed in the IFCPF Classification Rules.


International Federation


Member of the Para Football Steering Board

The International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football (IFCPF) is the international federation governing the sports of CP Football and Frame Football, dedicated to empowering persons with cerebral palsy and related neurological conditions to play football. IFCPF is committed to governing and developing the sports of CP Football and Frame Football in line with their respective mission and objectives and collaborate with Para Football in facilitating the growth of football for persons with disabilities. 

IFCPF Website: www.ifcpf.com


International Federation

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