Featuring world-famous soccer player trying out Paralympic Football 5-a-side

Tokyo, 15 August 2019 – The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) today unveiled a special video entitled “Experience the Unbelievable” featuring membersof Japan’s Football 5-a-side team and Spain’s FIFA World Cup winner Andrés Iniesta playing soccerblindfolded. Tokyo 2020 created this video to further interest in the build-up to the launch of the ticketlottery for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on 22 August and the one-year-to-go countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on 25 August.

“Experience the Unbelievable” displays the amazing athletic abilities of Football 5-a-side players. Led by Japan national team captain Ryo Kawamura, it shows Iniesta trying out the sport blindfolded like all Paralympic football 5-a-side players. Iniesta is widely regarded as one of the world’s best players of his generation and was for many years a core player at FC Barcelona and currently plays in Japan’s J. League.

Iniesta says in the video after the game, “It was an amazing experience for me because I could spend time with these guys and see the great work they’re doing. It was really complicated to do. It’s very difficult.”

Main athletes featured in the video 

Andrés Iniesta Luján
Born on 11 May 1984 in Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, Iniesta currently plays for Japanese club Vissel Kobe. Won LaLiga nine times, the UEFA Champions League four times, and led the Spanish national team to victory at the 2010 FIFA
World Cup final, scoring himself. Former FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique called him a “world heritage”. Last season, he played in 14 games in the J1 league, scoring 3 goals and providing 3 assists. He was appointed captain of Vissel Kobe as successor to Lukas Podolski and has scored three goals this season.

Ryo Kawamura
Born on 13 February 1989 in Osaka, Kawamura currently plays for Papelecial Shinagawa. In 2013, he debuted as a representative of Japan at the Saitama City Normalization Cup and scored the first goal of the Cup against the champions Brazil. He also played at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games, the IBSA Blind Football
World Championships 2014 and at the 2015 IBSA Asian Blind Football Championships. In the Asian Championships he scored 7 goals, the highest number of his team, and as captain inspires the team with his scoring ability and stamina.
When not playing football he works at AXA Life Insurance Co., Ltd.

Overview of the video
Produced by Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee
Title: Experience the Unbelievable
Launch date & time: Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 10 p.m. JST
YouTube URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_nyxi2vx58&feature=youtu.be
Can be downloaded from: https://media.tokyo2020.org/en/press-room/press-kit/ (ID: media, password:
tokyo2020media). The use of materials for any commercial purpose or the sharing of them with third parties is strictly prohibited.

Overview of Football 5-a-side
Played by athletes with a vision impairment using a special ball with a noise-making device inside, football 5-a-side offers skill and drama in equal measure. Each team consists of four outfield players and one goalkeeper who can be fully sighted or partially sighted. Although the outfield players may have different  3 / 3 degrees of visual impairment, all four must wear blackout masks to ensure fairness. To keep players safe, they must say ‘voy’ or a similar word when moving towards an opponent, tackling or searching for the ball.

Football 5-a-side is a fast and physically demanding game. Players not only need to have speed, strength and stamina, but also excellent spatial awareness despite their lack of vision, allowing them to be effective on the pitch and play together as a team. The outfield players have a guide whose job is to serve as their eyes. The guide stands behind the opposition goal and communicates information such as the distance to the goal and location of other players.
Spectators must stay silent during play so that the players can hear the ball moving and respond to instructions from their guide. However, cheering when a goal is scored is very much welcomed.

For more information: Tokyo 2020 Online Press Room, ID: media password: tokyo2020media
International Communications
Email: [email protected]
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