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8 African countries participate in international blind football in Enugu

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No fewer than 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.

The participating countries included 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 assisted to know the direction of play by the “talking ball’’.

The Chairman, World Blind Football, Mr Ulrich Pfisterer, said on Monday in Enugu 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.

Pfisterer 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 News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the weeklong championship, which started on Nov. 22, would end on Dec. 2.

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