KOCHI: The Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) has conducted the third edition of All India Invitational Blind Football Tournament in Kerala's Kochi. More than 100 players from across India are participating in the tournament, being held from April 27 to May 1.
The Round Robin League Games were played from April 27 to April 29 at the Alwaye Blind School Grounds.
On April 30, both the semi-finals were played at the Jogo grounds. Finals of the tournament will also be played today at the same ground.
IBFF is an independent federation setup formed in 2016 affiliated to the Paralympic Committee of India and IBSA, New Delhi and promoted by Society for Rehabilitation of the Visually Challenged, Kochi.
Blind Football is an exciting, fast paced 5-a-side football played by visually impaired athletes using a ball with a noise-making device inside. Played on a smaller pitch on an enclosed court, the game was only introduced as a Paralympic event in 2004.
There is more dribbling and short passing than in the mainstream sport, and crowds remain quiet during play to ensure that players can hear the ball, their team-mates and opposition players. Matches are played between two teams, ground size of 40 m X 20 m, each with four outfield players and a goalkeeper.
The outfield players are visually impaired (VI) and wear eyeshades to ensure fairness; however, the goalkeeper may be fully or partially sighted. The pitch is surrounded with a rebound wall; the sport is played with no throw-ins and no offside rule, which ensures non-stop action. Matches are played over two halves of 25 minutes each, plus 10 minutes for half-time. All players are blindfolded before a game so that this becomes a 'level playing field' for all players - partial or fully blind.
Source: ANI, Image Credits: Youtube