Blind football in Romania has a bright future thanks to strong support from the Romanian Football Federation (RFF) and new facilities the federation has opened at its national training centre in Buftea, on the outskirts of Bucharest.
The purpose-built blind football pitch was officially inaugurated last weekend as the centre hosted a three-nations tournament involving the hosts, neighbours Moldova and Germany.
At the opening, RFF President Răzvan Burleanu expressed his backing for blind football: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to invest in such a pitch and we hope that this is only the beginning in the development of football in this segment.”
“We hope that in the years to come we will be able to organize European Championships for the blind. Nowadays, the blind are also in the family of the national team", added Burleanu.
Caption: RFF President Răzvan Burleanu addresses the crowd during the opening.
Also in attendance at the opening were the technical director of the national teams, Mihai Stoichita, and other members of the RFF board. The ceremonial kick-off was performed by ex-international player Miodrag Belodedici.
Germany took top honours at the tournament, named the Friendship Cup, winning both games and scoring five goals in the process. The hosts finished second and Moldova came third.
Friendship Cup - results
Romania-Moldova 3-0 (1-0)
Romania-Germany 2-3 (1-2)
Germany-Moldova 2-0 (1-0)
Top Goalscorer - Kovacs Florin (Romania)
Most Valuable Player - Taime Kuting (Germany)
Best Goalkeeper - Oleg Biskalaev (Moldova)
The tournament officials were Lloyd Lybaert (Belgium), Robert Graeske (Germany), Attila Balint, Szabo Szilard and Szabo Attila (all Romania).
The new facilities are the result of a major investment by the RFF and the long-term aims of the project are to provide a training pitch for the Romanian national team, provide a trial pitch for blind people in Romania, develop a network of players from the 10 schools for the blind in the country, and organize competitions for teams in the region.
The opening received wide coverage in the local press, including on the RFF official web site and social media, on Digisport
and Radio Constanta
Click here to read the press release on the RFF web site.
Caption: hosts Romania and Germany pose for a group photo.