Special Olympics football tourney kicks off in Chennai

Athletes from 12 countries will vie for top honours in the four-day event; India has three teams participating in the tournament — two (SO Bharat 1 and 2) in men's football and one (SO Bharat) in women's football.

The South Korea contingent at the opening ceremony of Special Olympics International Football Championship 2019 in Chennai on Saturday.   -  FACEBOOK/ SPECIAL OLYMPICS

The Special Olympics International Football Championship 2019 started at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Saturday. Athletes from 12 countries will vie for top honours in the four-day event.

“The mission of Special Olympics is to eradicate the discrimination towards people with intellectual disabilities. One of the many ways we try to accomplish this massive undertaking is by training athletes in sports, giving them a chance to excel, and be a part of a wider community of fellow sportspersons,” Simon Koh, Managing Director of Special Olympics Asia Pacific, highlighted the positives.

The championship has been divided into two categories — men and women. India has three teams participating in the tournament — two (SO Bharat 1 and 2) in men's football and one (SO Bharat) in women's football.

The other participating nations are Austria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia and the United Arab Emirates..

Tournament chairman Amar Prasad Reddy and legendary music director Ilayaraaja graced the opening ceremony among other dignitaries.