Russia are the defending European champions in blind football ©©Ralf Kuckuck/Berlin 2017

The draw for this year's Blind Football European Championships has been made in host city Rome.

Ten teams will compete for the prize of continental winners between September 17 and September 24, with matches at the Italian Paralympics Preparation Center.

Hosts Italy have been placed in Group A and will face 2015 winners Turkey, Spain, Belgium and Romania in the opening stage.

Russia, the reigning European champions after beating Spain on penalties in the 2017 final in Berlin, are in Group B alongside France, England, Germany and Greece.

The draw was made in Rome ©IBSA
The draw was made in Rome ©IBSA

This year's tournament, organised by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), has added importance as the top two sides will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The draw was hosted by the Italian Paralympic Committee at the Paralympic Training Center, with their President Luca Pancalli in attendance.

IBSA Football Committee chairman Ulrich Pfisterer was also present, alongside junior blind footballers from the ASDD Roma youth academy. 

Blind football is a five-a-side sport, with the top two sides from each group in Rome reaching the semi-finals.