Blind football on the rise in Belgium
Date: December 11, 2013
Belgium is one of the latest countries to join the international blind football community thanks to a local development programme and support from the UEFA-funded IBSA Blind Football Development Project Europe.
Ligue Handisport Francophone has been developing blind football in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of the country, and Brussels, the capital, for some years now. Thanks to an agreement with Cecifoot France, the teams will take part in French competitions next year to gain match experience.
In addition to existing clubs in Brussels and Charleroi, there are plans to extend the sport to the rest of the country and set up new teams, and it is hoped a sustainable national league can be put in place in the near future.
Support has also come from the IBSA Blind Football Development Project Europe, which has provided footballs and eyeshades free of charge to the Ligue Handisport Francophone. The pictures show Belgian players training with the balls and eyeshades recently.
Plans are also being made for an intensive training weekend early next year involving a fledgling national team squad. Project funding will be provided to send an experienced blind football coach to Brussels to run the two-day training camp, with a view to setting up a national team to play in international competitions, including a six-team European development tournament in the pipeline for summer 2014.
For more information on blind football in Belgium contact [email protected].
For more information on IBSA blind football and the European development project contact [email protected] or [email protected].
All images © Estelle Bérengier.