NBFA trains 150 blind footballers

Bina Foundation, a nongovernmental, NGO, that caters for the blind and the physically challenged, has trained 150 male and female footballers who will participate in local and international championship.

The Foundation is also currently training over 350 youths in various special schools for the blind in the country.

The Founder of Bina Foundation, Mrs Ijeoma Atuegwu, disclosed this in Enugu Monday during the kick off of the one week  championship of the 2019 IBSA, International Blind Sports Federation, taking place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu aimed at selecting the African representative for 2020 Tokyo, Japan Paralympic Games.

Atuegwu said the essence of the blind football is to give the physically challenged a sense of belonging in the society.

Eight African countries are currently participating in the ongoing 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA)Blind Football African Championship.

The championship, which will produce a single qualifier for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, is being held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman World Blind Football, Mr Ulrich Pfisterer, said that blind football had become a global phenomenon aimed at integrating and giving people with visual impairment a sense of belonging.

“Just as other people with other forms of disabilities like the amputees are classified in the round leather game internationally,’’ he said.

He stressed that only one slot is allocated to Africa in the 2020 Paralympics being hosted by Japan in January.

He expressed hope that with the gradual keen interest by African nations on blind football, the continent would secure more slots in next Paralympics Games.

The participating countries are Morocco the current African Blind Football Champions; Niger, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Libya.

Others are; Egypt, Mali and host Nigeria.

Each of the team has five players including the goalkeeper, all blind, and they are assist the players to know the direction of play by the “talking ball’’.

The host team, the Star Eagles defeated their Cameroonian counterpart 2-1  in the first game of the tournament.

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