What is Amputee Football? Amputee Football is an adapted football format for players with amputations or limbs. Played internationally in a 7v7 format on a 60 × 40 meter pitch, where outfield players participate on elbow crutches and goalkeepers are single-armed.
The World Amputee Football Federation (WAFF) supports the development of amputee football around the globe. The role of the organization is to provide accessible opportunities for those with amputations or limbs to participate in sport at both grassroots and elite levels.
Who can play?
In international amputee-specific competitions, foreign players are either above or below the knee single-leg amputees while goalkeepers are single-arm amputees.
An amputee is defined as someone who is “amputated” at or above (proximal) the wrist or ankle. Outfielders can have two hands but only one foot. Goalies can have two legs, but only one hand.
Amputee soccer is a game for amputees and people with limb defects. Players playing on the field move with one leg on crutches. Goalkeeper with both legs, playing with one hand/arm.
Amputees have been photographed kicking soccer balls while on crutches as far back as the early 1900s in post-war Europe. It was only around the 1980s when the codified game was first brought to the attention of the European nations by American Don Bennet.
The sport started in the late 1980s with 5 team world championships. Originally as outdoor 11 v 11 and smaller indoor 7 v 7 formats, with each nation hosting an event on an annual rotation.
Following the establishment of the World Amputee Football Federation governing body in 2002, the game has seen steady global growth and increased participation. The World Cup is now organized every 4 years, visiting up to 26 member countries and played only in 7v7 format on a 60x40m field.
EAFF was founded in 2015 and growth in European nations has been rapid since then. EAFF continuously helps develop new member nations to expand the amputee football family. This growth is helping to establish new grassroots opportunities across the federation and has seen both junior and league provision develop to the point where both European Junior Camps and European Amputee Football Champions League events are held annually.