Football 5-a-side at the Rio 2016 Paralympics: All you need to know

Paralympic Games on the BBC
Venue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: 7-18 September Time in Rio: BST -4
Coverage: Follow on BBC Radio 5 live and via live text commentary
Brazil vs Argentina blind football
Brazil have won the last three gold medals at the Paralympic Games in football 5-a-side since the sport's induction in 2004

How does it work?

Football 5-a-side - more commonly known as blind football - is a game played by athletes with visual impairments and goalkeepers who usually have the full ability of sight.

The game is played using a small ball with a bell inside that makes a noise as it moves to aid the players in their movements. The four outfield players must all wear eyeshades to ensure fair play as some players may be partially sighted.

The fully-sighted goalkeeper can shout instructions to aid his team-mates but must not leave the penalty area, otherwise a penalty kick will be awarded to the opposing team.

Each team also has a guide behind each goal to give directions to the players. The guide will often tap the goal posts with a metal baton to give the player an indication of where to shoot.

The pitch is surrounded by a rebound wall so there are no throw-ins and there is no offside rule.

If a player attempts a tackle, they must shout the word "voy" before doing so to warn the opposing player. This is used as a safety precaution to avoid any injuries.

Matches are played over two halves of 25 minutes and if a match is drawn, the winner will be decided by a penalty shootout.

Who are the British medal hopes?

Great Britain's team failed to qualify for the Rio Paralympic games. The opportunity to book a place in Brazil was ended at the European Championships in Hereford last year.

They had to reach the European final to qualify but fell short at the semi-final stage as they lost on penalties to Russia.

But with Russia banned from the Paralympics, it is Spain who take their place as they also beat Great Britain on penalties in the third place play-off.

Who are the other challengers?

Hosts Brazil will be the strong favourites as they have won the last three Paralympic titles since the sport made its debut at the games in Athens in 2004.

Did you know?

During a football 5-a-side game, the crowd and team members on the bench must be completely silent while the ball is in play so that the players can hear the ball move.

If a member of the crowd is making too much noise, the referee can eject them from the arena.

ParalympicsGB London 2012 medals