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Last Updated: Friday, 24 November 2006, 21:17 GMT
Argentina holds Blind World Cup
Brazil beat France 4-1 in the first game

The football World Cup for the Blind is under way in Argentina with eight nations competing for the title.

Hosts and current champions Argentina are joined by seven qualifiers - Brazil, Paraguay, England, Spain, France, Japan, and South Korea.

The normal rules of football have been adapted for the blind version of the game - it is five-a-side instead of 11, and each team has a sighted goalkeeper.

The ball contains small pieces of metal so that the players can hear it.

Coaches shout instructions from the sidelines, and so the crowd is expected to keep its excitement silent.

Players use protective eye masks and some wear additional foam protection on their heads in case of falls.

Argentina and Brazil are the strong favourites to do well.

The BBC's Daniel Schweimler in Buenos Aires says the tournament has all the trappings of the World Cup for the sighted, played earlier this year in Germany - the television cameras, the team managers talking tactics and formations.

"We respect everyone but fear no-one," at least three managers have said.

Players battle it out in the blind football World Cup

England blind team tackle worlds
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