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Football tournament for visually impaired held in Ho Chi Minh City

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 10:41 GMT+7

A football tournament for the visually impaired was held in Ho Chi Minh City last weekend, and was an opportunity for participants to fuel their passion for the sport.

The Ho Chi Minh City 2017 Football Tournament for the visually challenged took place on Saturday morning at the Ho Chi Minh City Sports Center.

Four teams of five participated, one of which included players from Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind, with the other three coming from the Saigon Football Club for the Disabled.   

The players themselves came from all walks of life, some still at school and others working as masseurs, servers at local restaurants or lottery ticket sellers.

As the participants suffered from either a partial or complete loss of vision, each player was blindfolded to ensure fairness.

One thing they had in common was their endless love of football.

“We can play football all day without getting sick of it,” the players said.

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A referee ties the shoe for a player during the game. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Their lack of vision was a challenge and players bumping into each other during matches was a common sight.

After any collision however they would approach each other and express their apologies.

In this type of game, winning was not the ultimate goal but the opportunity to play the sport that they love.

Even the referees would sometimes stop the match to tie the shoes of the disabled players.

According to Ly Dai Nghia, an official at the Ho Chi Minh City Sports Center, the tournament was established in 2004 and given official status in 2010 by the municipal Department of Culture and Sports.

Following the tournament, a national competition is expected to be organized for the visually impaired in June, after which players will be selected for the 2017 ASEAN Para Games.    

The 2017 ASEAN Para Games, a Southeast Asian multi-sport event for the disabled, will take place from September 17 to 23 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Another football championship is set to begin for people with Down syndrome in the southern city, Nghia added.

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