With a keen focus on enhancing the quality of living for the local communities and encouraging aspiring talents to achieve their ambitions, Eshraqa, Khimji Ramdas’ Social Development Arm, recently extended its sponsorship to the Oman Paralympic Committee for organising the Muscat Blind Football Challenge. As the main sponsor of the event, KR Eshraqa showed its unfaltering commitment to support local athletes with disabilities while positioning Oman as a country that promotes such sporting activities. Organised in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth and the International Football Blind Foundation, the event was held under the patronage of His Excellency Rashid Al-Shamsi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Development.
Commenting on the event, Nailesh Khimji, Director, Khimji Ramdas said, “The Muscat Blind Football Challenge is the first-of-its-kind event in the Gulf region, and KR Eshraqa is truly honored to support such a unique game that gives an opportunity to those with visual impairments to shine in the field of sports. Through initiatives like these, we remain committed to empowering people, nurturing their talents, and helping those with impairments to lead a more self-reliant life.”
The launch of the Muscat Blind Football Challenge was held on 25th November 2021 at the Sultan Qaboos Stadium and the first match between the Indian National Team and Oman National Team took place on the same day which was won by Oman National Team 1:0. The second two-legged match was played on 27th November 2021 and Oman National Team won the match 2:0.
“In the past, only two other Arab countries, namely Egypt and Morocco, have hosted such an event. Apart from being the first Gulf country to feature this game, Oman has also taken a strong stance to highlight the importance of integrating the visually impaired into various social and sports activities in the society,” said Dr. Mansoor Bin Sultan Al-Tauqi, President of Oman Paralympic Committee. “We extend our sincere gratitude to KR Eshraqa for their continued support towards social causes. We are certain that this unique game will be a milestone event and go a long way to inspire others to follow their passion and practice their hobbies.”
The Muscat Blind Football Challenge was also initiated with a vision to create awareness about the game and promote its popularity in the region. Unlike traditional football, the game involves no throws or bounces. A five-sided game, it is played with four players being completely blindfolded to ensure fairness and one sighted goalkeeper to organise the defence. With dedicated coaches guiding those on the field and balls with bells to help players trace the movements, this game is designed based on touch, voice, and close control.
““The Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) has been developing blind football since 2013 and has been successful in showcasing the talents of those with visual impairments in the field of sports. Our players have demonstrated utmost spirit on the field and the journey of each individual is an inspirational story in itself,” said Sunil J Mathew, Sporting Director, Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF). “We appreciate the enthusiasm the Sultanate of Oman has shown in raising awareness about this Paralympic sport and hosting a game in their home grounds.”
With several successful initiatives centered around education, health, community wellbeing, and training, KR Eshraqa has partnered with a number of public, societal, and educational institutions to help promote prosperity, growth, and sustainable opportunities in the communities it serves.