Football is the most popular sport in the world
and is played by people of all ages, sexes, races, and religions. No wonder then that people with visual
impairments also pursue this activity. Still, there are those who cannot believe
that the blind can play football. More and more people, however,
get interested in this type of football. Blind football is a Paralympic sport and therefore its rules are set by the
International Blind Sports Federation. Each team has four blind players in the field
and a sighted goalkeeper. As in a standard football match, the teams aim
to score more goals than the opponent. The ball is equipped with a noise-making device
to allow players to locate it by sound. Apart from the goalkeeper, two sighted guides
positioned outside the pitch help the players with with their orientation: one on the halfway line
and the other behind the opponent’s goal. One of the most interesting tournaments in
blind football takes place in a small town in South Moravia, called Bučovice. The premises of a primary school
set upon a lovely hill host friendly yet rough battles
for the Bučovice Blind Football Cup. As has become a tradition, so to say,
the trophy for the first place goes to the team from faraway Brazil – ICB Bahia. Thanks to their everyday training and close
relationship to their experienced coach Gerson Coutinho, the Brazilians
play almost perfectly. See for yourselves. Just like last year, the Greek team of football
knights from Thessaloniki won the silver medal. Owing to the work of the tournament
organizers, every year at the end of spring best blind footballers of the world visit the
otherwise not very well known town of Bučovice. Among the top players that value
the Bučovice cup highly are the star of the last three Paralympic
games in London, Beijing, and Athens Darren Harris, the best player in the world
Jeferson Gonsalves, the legendary striker Efstratios Chatziapostlidis, and many other outstanding players. Not to forget the engagement of
top referees from all over the world. Fascinated spectators are
often at a loss for words when asked to express their impressions
of what they see on the pitch. Many can’t believe their eyes. Most people who have never seen a blind
football match before do not expect any great spectacle, but they are mistaken. The two days of the tournament saw matches
full of emotions, the players’ great effort, and splendid football with actions so quick
that only the prominent sports commentator Maurizio Valgolio could notice
them in time to describe them. I knew that like a commentator I’m not so
emotional, I don’t have a favorite team or something, to be honest. The player…
and the matches they do… it would be very very nice to have
more teams on the high-high level. And at the same moment it’s nice to have
a ____ team. Because the new teams are getting contact with the Dublin team,
with the Belgian team from Anderlecht, with people I have never seen. And it’s
nice to have another countries as well There is developing blind football
introduced teams in these countries. It’s great opportunity. So there are
players playing the first tournament, getting in contact with this wonderful sport. So yeah, it’s very important seeing in
developing in blind football in this tournament. On the first day of the tournament the teams
competed in groups to qualify for the semi-finals and thus for the opportunity
to win a medal or even the cup. The best shooters were the
Brazilian players of ICB Bahia, who scored twenty goals, and there
could be no doubt that they would qualify. The home team of Avoy MU Brno
also performed very well: they won two matches and advanced
to the semi-finals. Especially excellent was the striker duo
Jan Mrázek and Ondřej Gottlieb, whose combinations troubled the opponents’
defenders and who also scored beautiful goals. The second day of the championship started
with a match between the Belgian team of Five-a-side Anderlecht
and BFI Dublin from Ireland. took place in front of the still sleepy organizers and a few surprised spectators.From nine o’clock, on a cold and damp morning, a unique match took place in front of the still
sleepy organizers and a few surprised spectators. The Belgian team, while losing
two players to injuries, gave an incredible performance with
the three remaining players. Alexandre Wespes, despite his accident
when he flew over the boards in full speed, got backto the game and by scoring a goal
ensured his team the opportunity to compete for the fifth place. It is at such moments that
even an inexperienced observer witnesses unforgettable sports stories. The next match was also dramatic: two German teams – St. Pauli and Chemnitz –
fought for the semi-finals. Nobody scored a goal in this exciting match and
so the amiable players from Hamburg qualified, and their friends from the home team of
Avoy MU Brno joined them in their joy. As in any sport, blind football teams have
better as well as worse players. The team in which most players are at the
top level is the favourite to win the tournament. For the third time this team is ICB Bahia from Brazil. However, they have the Greek team of
Pirsos Thessaloniki breathing down their necks. The finals between these two teams
remained undecided for a long time. The Brazilians were getting desperate because
of the Greek goalkeeper Georgios Ampatzis, whose saves eliminated plenty
of clear-cut scoring chances. However, despite their enormous
effort the experienced Greek players, who have been playing football
for more than twenty years, were not able to score a goal against
the “miraculous kids” from ICB Bahia. And when their excellent goalkeeper
got injured halfway into the match, it was absolutely clear who
would win the tournament. What is the secret of the Brazilian success? Black magic? Religious belief? Doping? Never! Apart from good physical predispositions the key to their success lies in everyday
training and their love of football. Like every year, we do not know whether
we will be able to organize another year of the Bucovice Blind Footbal Cup. In any case, this cup has gained a reputation
of a legendary international tournament, visited by an increasing number of enthusiastic
fans, media, and football celebrities.

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Dennis Veasley

One thought on “Bučovice Blind Football Cup 2015 – EN”

  1. Hello guys, good morning! The Team ICB of BAHIA, once again thank the caring, new friendships and opportunities to learn and also teach a bit of culture and social inclusion, this blind community. It really is a beautiful championship to be held every age year independent the team champion, the tournament is the great development for the sport's growth. Rondinelli and the whole team ICB BAHIA !!!!

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