Germany to start blind football league

Germany is starting a football league for blind and partially sighted players at the end of the month – just two years after the sport was first introduced to the country.

Blind football started in Brazil during the 1960s where there are now 80 teams around the world. The sport – which caters both for the blind and partially sighted – is played in other European countries such as England, France, Greece, Spain and Russia.

Blind football was only introduced here in May 2006 just before Germany hosted the last World Cup, but now less than two years later Germany will have an eight-team tournament when the league kicks off on March 29.

The Blindfootball-Bundesliga teams are scattered across Germany with teams in the capital Berlin, Hamburg-based St Pauli, Stuttgart, Mainz, Dortmund, Marburg, Essen and Chemnitz.

Each team has five players including a partially sighted goalkeeper. Helpers are positioned behind the goals to guide the players and the ball has a bell inside it to help players locate it.