Blind at World Cup venues

VISUALLY impaired fans will be able to enjoy soccer like everyone else during the World Cup tournament.

Fifa, the Swiss National Association for the Blind and the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB) have teamed up to provide an Audio Description Project at 44 matches in six World Cup stadiums.

The project will help the visually impaired to receive the audio description over small receivers with inner-ear headphones.

Lindie van Zyl of the SANCB said the project will offer special tickets to visually impaired spectators for a total of 44 matches at the six stadiums.

The commentary will be given by journalists trained for this purpose.

The Institute for the Advancement of Journalism is responsible for sourcing, training and coordinating the audio descriptions.

Students from the Academy of Sound Engineering will perform the technical audio functions to ensure that the descriptions are correctly transmitted to the fans.

"This is a first for South African sport stadiums and we hope that the project will leave a legacy after the World Cup for other tournaments to offer a similar service to the estimated 500000 visually impaired South Africans," Van Zyl said.

"At each of the six stadiums there will be 15 seats available for visually impaired spectators as well as 15 seats for their sighted guides, meaning 90 visually impaired persons will be assisted."

The visually impaired will also wear outer-ear headphones to lessen the noise from the crowds and vuvuzelas.

The stadiums offering this service are Soccer City, Ellis Park, Loftus Versfeld, Moses Mabhida, Nelson Mandela Bay and Green Point.

Ticket prices are the same for everyone, starting at R140. They can be bought from the SANCB. Contact Korky on 012-452-3811 or fax 012-346-4699 or e-mail:

The closing date for ticket applications is May 26.