Football is a game that requires speed, power, speed and skill. It is also considered to be a difficult game for those who are athletic and capable bodies. Now, imagine that this game is being played by the blind people? It seems impossible, is not it?
When Gabriel Nogrun stepped into the football field at the Bulring Fever Pitch field in Bangalore’s Yashwantpur, he could see all that he was dark. He was neither seen by the fans on the pavilion nor the huge football field But he could have felt the energy in the air and the rival team could get the understanding of Garo, Meghalaya. At the end of the 45th minute, Gabriel emerged as the Champion of National Blind Football Tournament by scoring five goals for his team Bethany Society, Shillong.
“My father and sister used to play football almost every day. One day, I asked them to teach me to play the game. At first they told me that I would not be able to learn from I am not sighted. They request me to dribble and kick. Since then, I never seen back I wanted to prove the world that also can also play football, “Gabriel Nongrun told YourStory.
Sixteen teams consisting of 160 players from across the country like Meghalaya, Lucknow, Kerala and New Delhi, took part in the National Blind Football Tournament organized by the Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) on April 12 to 15, 2019 All the games of this series were conducted in the presence of referees and officials approved by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSF).The championship comprised of five-a-side games played on a futsal-size ground. The footballs had the help of the players in the direction of which the ball was being kicked. All players were protected with eye masks Only the goalkeeper had sight
The highlight of the tournament was the demonstration of a game of football by visually impaired female players. Referees, goalkeepers, coaches, and guides were also women, making it a unique experience. Presently, India occupies the 30th spot in the world. The objective of this tournament was to help the new talent to represent India at the Paralympics in 2020.
“The idea of holding this event was to bring the best of visually impaired football players and show the world just like any other sighted person. I must say the amount of talent and potential they have unimaginable and they are definitely worthy of a lot, “notes Sunil J Matthew, Sporting Director, Indian Blind Football Federation.