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5-a-side football


Played by visually impaired athletes, 5-a-side football came about in Spain roundabout the 1920s. In Brazil, there is evidence that it was played in the 1950s by visually impaired people, who used cans. In 1978, the sport's first championship was staged in Natal (capital of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil’s northeast region).  In 1984, the first Brazil Cup was held in São Paulo. In 1998, Brazil won the first World Championship held in Paulinia (state of São Paulo).


The sport was only included in the Paralympic programme at the Athens Games in 2004. Brazil has won all editions held until today.

Five-a-side football is played on a 42m x 22m court. Outfield players wear blindfolds to ensure that everyone has equal sight, but goalkeepers may be fully or partially sighted. Matches have two 25 minutes halves, with a 10 minute break in between. The ball makes noise to guide the players.


Totally blind or with light perception, unable to recognise the shape of a hand at any distance

Able to recognise shapes

Able to make out shapes


The same old rivalry
The first final of 5-a-side football at the Paralympics was played at the Games in Athens 2004. It brought two great rivals face to face, Brazil and Argentina. The match went to a penalty shoot-out, with Brazil beating the Argentinians 3-2. In Beijing 2008, Brazil played the final was against the hosts (China) and in London 2012 they faced France in the final.


See also


Brazilian Sports Confederation for the Visually Impaired (CBDV)