In conversation with blind football coaches Ganesh and Nazeef

With less than four days left for the Blind Football exhibition match at Kick football turf in Powai, we take a look back as to how these special players are been selected, trained and motivated to play the beautiful game. Footballcounter recently spoke to the coaches, Ganesh Chandani and Nazeef Chembakassery who also happens to be a part of a NGO named Youth United Foundation (YUF) in association with XRCVC (Xavier’s Resource Centre for the Visually Challenged).

Coach Ganesh Chandani admitted that coaching Mumbai in Kerala gave him a chance to learn about Blind Football which also helped him to come up with an idea to promote this unique and special game.

“I went to Kerala along with Mumbai’s team as a coach for a Blind football tournament. The actual coach of Mumbai was unavailable which gave me a huge opportunity to coach the Mumbai’s team which indeed turned out to be mesmerizing.

There were teams from Uttarakhand, Kolkata, Delhi, and Dehradun which made the tournament more competitive and interesting,” Ganesh overwhelmingly expressed his feelings on coaching Mumbai’s blind football team.

Ganesh had met Lu, an international coach who was present in Kerala for blind football. Both of them decided to start promoting blind football in Mumbai.

“Later on, I met an international coach named Lu Sir who was quite experienced and was aware about the inside out of Blind football.

He made me aware of Blind football as to how it is played and how the rules are quite different from the sighted football. Before leaving for Mumbai, Lu admitted that blind football in Mumbai is almost unknown to everyone, and that’s where we came upon an idea to promote blind football in Mumbai,” Ganesh said.

Ganesh then explained the rules of blind football and spoke about training sessions. According to Ganesh, stamina and enthusiasm was the key in segregating and selecting these players.

“Blind football is totally different from sighted football. It is played 5-a side with a sighted or a B2-B3 goalkeeper in the post.

For segregating the players, I considered their stamina, enthusiasm and passion about football. Like, stamina is a must for the attackers as they have to run up and down, as for defense, the players need to stay in their position and play. There is bit worry about injuries as sometimes the players collides with each other hence wearing shin guards is compulsory,” Ganesh explained.

Coach Nazeef Chembakassery also explained the quite complicating rules of blind football.

“The ball used in blind football is heavier and has hearings inside it which helps the players to locate the ball. Plus if a player fouls for three or five times, then the oppositions are awarded with a penalty from either 5 metres or 8 metres. There are only goal kick and corners, and no outside or offside.

Also there are two coaches in the field, one at half-line and one at the back. The coaches help the players to move by directing them and they are very important in blind football. The most important part of blind football is all the players has to communicate with each other by saying “woy”,” Nazeef concluded after explaining the bits of blind football.



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