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A new world

Football 5-a-side

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Full of amazing dribbles and shooting, this is the visually impaired version of the world’s most popular sport. Part of the Paralympic Games since Athens 2004, eight men’s teams will compete for gold in Rio.
Spectator's Guide - Football 5-a-side
  • Football 5-a-side

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8 80 1

Schedule & Results

Schedule & Results

Football 5-a-side

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September18
Date Event Status

About

About

Aim of the game

A five-a-side version of the world’s most popular sport adapted for the visually impaired, in which outfield players must wear eye shades and the ball makes a sound that players can follow. Two teams try to outscore each other and are directed by their coach, guide and goalkeeper (who are not visually impaired)

Why should you watch this?

The incredible balance and dribbling ability of the players, using every sense except sight to try to win, will amaze you

International Federation

Paralympic debut

Athens 2004

Rules
  • Double penalty

    Double penalty

    Throughout a match, fouls are cumulative, so after a team registers three fouls in any half, every subsequent foul is punished with a ‘double penalty’ and a direct shot from eight metres out

  • Go!

    Go!

    The word a player must say clearly and audibly when seeking to take possession of the ball or tackle an opponent

  • Guides

    Guides

    The goalkeeper, coach and guide (all of whom are non-visually impaired) can only provide orientation to the players when the ball enters their respective third of the pitch (defensive, midfield, attacking)

Impress your friends

  • The sport was created in Spain in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until 1986 that the country held its first national championships. In Brazil, football 5-a-side appeared in the 1960s

    The sport was created in Spain in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until 1986 that the country held its first national championships. In Brazil, football 5-a-side appeared in the 1960s

  • In 1998, the first world championships took place in Paulínia, in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, with the home team winning gold

    In 1998, the first world championships took place in Paulínia, in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, with the home team winning gold

  • The sport made its Paralympic debut at the Athens 2004 Games, four years after an exhibition game in Sydney first brought it to the committee’s shortlist of potential additions

    The sport made its Paralympic debut at the Athens 2004 Games, four years after an exhibition game in Sydney first brought it to the committee’s shortlist of potential additions

  • At Athens 2004, Brazil and the Republic of Korea kicked off the first ever game of Paralympic 5-a-side football, with the South Americans winning 4-0

    At Athens 2004, Brazil and the Republic of Korea kicked off the first ever game of Paralympic 5-a-side football, with the South Americans winning 4-0

  • In the Beijing 2008 final between Brazil and China, the home team scored first but Brazil fought back to win 2-1 in an exciting game

    In the Beijing 2008 final between Brazil and China, the home team scored first but Brazil fought back to win 2-1 in an exciting game

  • Brazil are four-time world champions and three-time Paralympic champions (2004, 2008, 2012), while Argentina have silver and bronze Paralympic medals

    Brazil are four-time world champions and three-time Paralympic champions (2004, 2008, 2012), while Argentina have silver and bronze Paralympic medals

  • Brazil’s Jeferson Gonçalves, better known as Jefinho, is probably the greatest ever player. His amazing ball control and dribbling have brought him two Paralympic golds

    Brazil’s Jeferson Gonçalves, better known as Jefinho, is probably the greatest ever player. His amazing ball control and dribbling have brought him two Paralympic golds

  • Brazil’s Ricardo Alves was voted best player at the last world championship, in Japan in 2014, where Brazil won its fourth championship

    Brazil’s Ricardo Alves was voted best player at the last world championship, in Japan in 2014, where Brazil won its fourth championship

  • David Clarke was Great Britain’s torchbearer at the London 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony, having scored 128 goals in 144 games for his team, winning the European Golden Boot three times

    David Clarke was Great Britain’s torchbearer at the London 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony, having scored 128 goals in 144 games for his team, winning the European Golden Boot three times

  • The relatively small court, with the same measurements as for futsal, makes dribbling a very important skill in this version of the game

    The relatively small court, with the same measurements as for futsal, makes dribbling a very important skill in this version of the game

  • Football 5-a-side is incredibly free-flowing due to the scarcity of fouls awarded and the fact that the ball rarely goes out of play

    Football 5-a-side is incredibly free-flowing due to the scarcity of fouls awarded and the fact that the ball rarely goes out of play

  • Due to the importance of players being able to hear the ball, the crowd is asked to remain quiet during games and only cheer after a goal is scored

    Due to the importance of players being able to hear the ball, the crowd is asked to remain quiet during games and only cheer after a goal is scored

Duration

Matches last 50 minutes, divided into two halves of 25 minutes. In the knockout stage of the competition, if the scores are tied at the end of 50 minutes, a penalty shootout decides the winners.

Teams

Each team has four visually impaired outfield players who must wear eye shades for visual fairness. The goalkeeper cannot throw the ball beyond the halfway line, nor touch a teammate’s back-pass with his hands. Once the goalie has released the ball, his team has 15 seconds to cross the halfway line with it, otherwise they forfeit possession.

Guides

A device inside the ball helps orientate the players, and a player is not allowed to keep it still at his feet for more than four seconds. Each team also has three sighted ‘guides’ – including the goalkeeper – to shout instructions at the players.

Pitch

The pitch measures 40m x 20m and features two penalty spots, one for regular penalties and one for cumulative fouls as of a team's fourth (see ‘30-second expert’).

The side walls are 1.2m high, meaning the ball cannot go out of play, ensuring a more continuous flow of the game.

Classification

Although the four outfield players are classified as B1 (the most severe level of impairment) they are still blindfolded to ensure fairness. The goalkeeper does not have a visual impairment.

Updates

Stats

Top Medalists

Men
BRA
BRA
3 0 0 3
ARG
ARG
0 1 1 2
ESP
ESP
0 0 2 2

Countries

Athletes

Athletes & Teams

Gender

Gender
Woman 0
Men 100
Women
Men

Age Range

Age Range
Under 15 1
16 - 20 6
21 - 25 31
26 - 30 38
31 - 40 20
Over 40 4
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