The Blind Relief Association, Delhi; June 25, 2005
The first-ever national-level Football Tournament in the country came to a close on June 25. It was inaugurated on June 22 and saw the participation of six teams -- two each from West Bengal and Delhi and one each from Gujarat and Rajasthan.
In the thrilling final match, played on June 25 at the Blind Relief Association (B.R.A.), Delhi grounds, B.R.A. Delhi’s Technical Training Centre defeated Voice of World football team from Kolkata – by 2 goals to 0 – to claim the Championship of the tournament. For the winning team the goals were scored by Bhakar Paul.
The 5-a-side football final mach saw display of superb footwork and moves by the visually impaired footballers. Goutam Bind of Voice of the World, Kolkata, who gave an outstanding performance in the tournament, scoring a hat trick in the semifinals, was declared “Player of the Tournament”.
Kartikeya Bharatram, Chairperson of the Indian Blind Sports Association (I.B.S.A.) awarded the Champion’s and Runners up trophies to the respective finalists. The Tournament was organised by I.B.S.A in New Delhi with the support of the B.R.A., Delhi.
5-a-side football for the blind is played on 32m x 18m field and using a special football which has jingles. While the four mid-field players are totally blind (B1 category), the goalkeeper is a partially sighted person. Football for the blind is a very new game to have been introduced in India. The I.B.S.A. has taken the initiative to popularise this game among visually impaired people in the country. In June 2004 the Association held a special coaching camp where this game was first introduced to participating coaches from different parts of the country. The participating institutions were presented with special footballs that the Association had received from the Government of Brazil at the behest of the International Blind Sports Federation.
Later, the Association got similar footballs fabricated locally so that they could be made available to its affiliate institutions. These footballs were distributed free to all the 44 institutions that participated in the 14th National Sports Meet for the Blind organiSed by the Association in December 2004.
The game is played in accordance with the norms and rules framed by the International Blind Sports Federation. International rules require the game to be played on a hard floor. But, keeping in view the actual facilities available in India, the Association is encouraging the game to be played on ordinary grass grounds.
For details, contact:
Mr. K.C. Pande on mobile: 98101 73957
Mr. P.C. Mehta on mobile 9899841350
Phone: +91-(0)11-24360480 or 24364376