Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) conducted its first blind football demo game and awareness camp in Mumbai on February 12, 2017 at the Kick Priyadarshini Park Astro Turf ground at Nepean Sea Road, Mumbai.
The event was attended by blind footballers from Wilson College, Xavier’s (XRCVC) and other organisations from Mumbai. The event involved a demonstration game in-between two Mumbai sides representing Wilson College and a team made up of members of XRCVC. Wilson College won the game with a penalty shootout of 1-0 with a goal by Azhar Shaikh.
Bollywood actress Shriya Saran, brand ambassador for blind football, India, kicked off the game. Biswanath Sinha, Director Tata Trusts Sports, inaugurated the game. Sunil J Mathew, sporting director IBFF and coach of the Indian national blind football team, conducted an orientation and explanation of tactics session. The aim of the camp was to raise awareness about sporting abilities of the differently abled and help build a blind football team in Mumbai.
The Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) promoted by Society for Rehabilitation of the Visually Challenged, Kochi, a registered NGO working with the sector since 2002, is affiliated with the Paralympic Committee of India (Govt). The organization has been recognised to help and promote the game with an aim to help sporting talents like these.
Blind football is a five-a-side game played on a futsal ground with two sighted goalkeepers. Futsal ground comprises an area of 40m x 20m whose long sides are blocked with sideboards. The players are guided by the sound of the ball, which has bells inside it. IBFF has been conducting talent-scouting camps across the country.
The Indian Blind Football team is ranked 23rd in the world with a hope of taking the momentum forward with this event. This will not only give a chance to new players to participate but also help them improve the game further. The first Blind Football Academy will be soon operational in Kochi, and association with talents would be on a long-term basis. The players will be offered intensive training, fitness, etc, along with tactical skills. Tata Trusts and West Communication too ensured to support this initiative on a long-term basis.
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