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20 Sep 2004
Olympic News

Paralympic Games first: Football - Five -a -Side

The Paralympic Games began on Saturday with a real "première". For the first time in the history of the Games, a - five-a-side football match was organised . IOC President Jacques Rogge attended the first five-a-side football match. "I'm impressed by the performance of these athletes", he said after this experience.

In Helliniko

At the Athens Paralympic Games the five-a-side football tournament will take place on Pitch 2 of the Olympic Hockey Centre, at the Helliniko Olympic Complex. The competition programme will be completed within six competition days: 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28 September 2004.

Visual impairment

Making its debut at the ATHENS 2004 Paralympics, Five-a-side football is aimed at athletes with a visual impairment. There are five players per team and each game lasts 50 minutes. The rules are the same as Olympic football with certain modifications; the ball makes a noise when it moves, the goalkeepers may be sighted and act as guides during the game, the rest of the team uses eye patches and eyeshades, there are five players on a team rather than 11, the field of play measurements are smaller and there is no offside rule.

Rapid development

There has been a rapid development of five-a-side football around the world. The first National Championship took place in Spain in 1986. Since then, the sport has been expanding in many countries. The Athens Paralympic Games constitute a landmark for five-a-side football. The International Association Football Federation (FIFA), in cooperation with the Football Committee of the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA), are in charge for the development of the sport.

Learn more on the Iinternational Paralympic Committee (IPC)
Official website of the IPC
Official website of the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens

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