Dhanpal Ganesh, Indumathi to play in unified game at Special Olympics football tourney

Chennaiyin FC midfielder Dhanpal Ganesh and Indian national team player Indumathi Kathiresan are likely to play in the unified game, which will involve athletes with and without intellectual disabilities.

SO Bharat women's team in action against SO Maldives on day one of the Special Olympics International Football Championship 2019.   -  Fisto Sports

A unified game, involving athletes with and without intellectual disabilities, will take place on August 6 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Chennaiyin FC midfielder Dhanpal Ganesh and Indian national team player Indumathi Kathiresan among others are likely to feature in the game which will be held ahead of the closing ceremony of the Special Olympics International Football Championship.

Chennai City striker Ameerudeen Haja Mohaideen and goalkeeper Vijaya Kumar Vinitha are also expected to play on Tuesday, along with a few senior players from the Tamil Nadu state team.

According to the Special Olympics Unified Sports programme, athletes without intellectual disabilities are known as 'unified partners'.

"The role of unified partners is to support the special athletes, not dominate them,” said Sebastian Francis, Technical Director of the tournament. “Eight special athletes — four men and four women — will be chosen at random from the participating nations to team up with the unified partners," he added.

The exhibition match will be played for a total of 30 minutes, with each half comprising of 15 minutes. It will either be a five or six-a-side match, depending on the availability of the unified partners.

The closing ceremony will be held at 4:30 pm at the outdoor stadium.