Cambodia Prove Powerhouse at Blind Football

Blind Football

While much has been made of the medals won by the wheelchair basket ball teams of Cambodia, the nation also managed a very respectful 3rd place and bronze medal in the blind football competition.

The competition which consists of teams playing 7 a-side was won by Thailand who beat Malaysia 4-0 in the mens final, while Cambodia were thrashed by Laos by the same margin in the bronze medal match.

To read about wheelchair basketball click here.

What is blind football?

It is for all intents football, but played by people who are either completely blind, or severely vision impaired. This obviously brings out the elephant in the room of “how do they know here the ball is”, with the simple answer being that there is a bell in the ball, which players use to know its location.

Football 5-a-side/7 a-side players are assigned to one of three sport classes based on their level of visual impairment:

  • B1 – Totally or almost totally blind; from no light perception up to light perception but inability to recognise the shape of a hand.
  • B2 – Partially sighted; able to recognise the shape of a hand up to a visual acuity of 2/60 or a visual field of less than 5 degrees.
  • B3 – Partially sighted; visual acuity from 2/60 to 6/60 or visual field from 5 to 20 degrees

Teams are permitted to use sighted athletes as goalkeepers and guides; sighted goalkeepers cannot have been registered with FIFA for at least five years – thus ensuring no “ringers” are used by teams.

The sport has long been part of the both the Paralympics, as well as the ASEAN Para Games.

How good are Cambodia?

Well as things currently stand they are the fourth best team in ASEAN, meaning higher ranked than the mens and and level with the women’s full soccer teams. Said overachievement can be attributed too the high levels of investment from the Royal Government into sports for the disabled.

Cambodia has an unusually high number of people with disabilities largely related to the civil war the country weren’t through as well as the scourge of landmines that still litter the country.

To read about landmines in Cambodia click here.

This article is adapted from BPVE, ( reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (
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