Players of the NIVH Dehradun
Players of the NIVH Dehradun

Blind Football match hosted in Delhi

ANI | Updated: Oct 07, 2018 01:43 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 07 (ANI): A Blind Football Demo Game was on Saturday held between the Delhi Blind Football Team and the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH) Dehradun team at the Adidas the Football Base Plaza venue at Chattarpur here.
The visiting side triumphed over the home team 1-0, with a goal in the first half by scored by India International Pankaj Rana. The session was co-hosted by Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) and the Delhi Dynamos FC as a part of an effort to develop blind football in Delhi.
Blind Football is a five-a-side game played with four players being completely blindfolded and a sighted goalkeeper with the balls having bells inside played on an artificial turf ground with the long sides covered by side boards.
The IBFF has been developing Blind Football from the grass-root level since 2013 across the country and is affiliated with the Paralympic Committee of India and the Indian Blind Sports Association, Delhi. The national side is ranked 29th in the world and the IBFF runs the country's only Blind Football Training Academy at Kochi, Kerala and as part of the rehabilitation activities of the NGO SRVC.
This session will help raise awareness about the Paralympic sport, and showcase the sporting talents of the differently-abled community and give a chance for the Delhi based blind footballers to practise and improve the game which will help the national team too.
Speaking to ANI, the head of grassroots development for the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Anju Turambekar said, "It's the first I'm seeing such a game. These boys are doing an amazing job. I was aware of the program because the IBFF had worked with us last year. This is something really awesome. So much effort they are putting, blind boys are playing football! They can't see anything, but they are playing football, it's something unbelievable."
Sunil J. Mathew, the Sporting Director of the IBFF and also a coach of the national team said that the initiative was mostly to create awareness about the game.
"We started this in 2013 to focus on the sporting abilities of the blind. They can also play like us, so want to merely focus on how the blind people can exhibit their skills and get recognised. The Indian team has done well, we're World No. 29, and we've grown over the years. We have an academy in Kochi, a full-time dedicated blind football academy. They can also train in regular work, computer skills, telemarketing, reflexology and play in the morning," Mathew added. (ANI)