The IBSA Football Committee has carried out its first action in India to help boost the game in the country.
Refereeing Co-ordinator Elias Mastoras made the trip to Kochi late last month to conduct a training seminar for blind football referees and officials in the country.
Twelve referees took part in the seminars, as well as several officials. Some of the country's best players were also involved in hands-on sessions.
Caption: participants pose on a football pitch.
Blind football in India is run by the Indian Blind Sports Association
and the Society for the Rehabilitation of the Visually Challenged (SRVC)
. There are regular national championships involving several teams.
The Indian national team played in an official IBSA competition for the first time just last September when they travelled to Japan to compete in the IBSA Blind Football Asian Championships 2015 in Tokyo. Despite losing all its games, the team acquitted itself well and picked up invaluable experience for future events.
Participants in the seminars were able to use a pilot training resource on blind football rules. The tool is an interactive multimedia resource that can be used both on-line and off-line. In Kochi the tool was used off-line on four tablets.
Caption: participants use a tablet to learn the rules.
The seminars received widespread media coverage
, including in the New Indian Express.
Plans are already being made for a development project in India later this year for coaches and referees.
Caption: picture of one of the classroom-based sessions during the seminars.