For the first time in Arabic, the Arab World Cup provides audio descriptive commentary on matches for people with visual disabilities

Fans with visual disabilities praised the efforts of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in providing an audio description service for the opening ceremony of the 2021 Arab World Cup, and the events of the Qatar-Bahrain match at Al Bayt Stadium last Tuesday evening, at the start of the championship competitions, which conclude on December 18.

The new service – which is offered for the first time in Arabic in the history of the FIFA tournaments – is available to fans with visual impairments in matches hosted by Al-Bayt Stadium and Education City within the Arab World Cup competitions.

Fan Faisal Al-Kooheji expressed his happiness and gratitude for the service’s availability, pointing out that the absence of this service in football stadiums deprived him of the pleasure of watching the matches of his favorite sport.

Fans with visual impairments had the opportunity to listen to a commentary that provided an accurate description of all the cultural and musical performances included in the opening ceremony, in addition to a description of the design of the Al Bayt Stadium inspired by the ancient Arabs inhabited by the Bayt Al Shaar, an accurate description of the atmosphere of the stadium, the course of the match, the colors of the players’ clothes and their facial expressions. during the course of the match.

Al-Kooheji, who is the Chairman of the Qatar Social and Cultural Center for the Blind, indicated that attending football matches in the stadiums was previously required to accompany him to a member of his family or his sighted friends, to describe to him the movements of the players and the details of everything that happens on the field, pointing out that The audio description enhanced its independence and was able to follow the events of the match on its own, and to experience an integrated experience similar to that of the sighted.

Al Kooheji stressed the right of everyone, regardless of their abilities and capabilities, to follow football and enjoy this beautiful and most famous game, which delights followers from all over the world. Interesting that meets their needs and achieves their aspirations.

Al-Kooheji pointed out that fans and football fans all over the world are on a date with an exceptional experience during Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup next year, and expressed his enthusiasm and aspiration to follow up on the performance of the Qatari team in the Arab World Cup and the World Cup, calling on his peers, blind and visually impaired, to seize this opportunity. The opportunity to enjoy an atmosphere full of excitement and enthusiasm.

The stadiums that hosted the World Cup competitions in Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018 had witnessed the use of audio descriptions to facilitate the follow-up of the matches by fans with visual disabilities, but the provision of this service in Arabic for the first time in a football tournament held under the umbrella of FIFA embodies the keenness of the State of Qatar to host An accessible version of the World Cup for people with disabilities.

For his part, Jose Ritana, Director of Sustainability at the 2022 World Cup Qatar, affirmed Qatar’s intention to expand the scope of the audio description service when hosting the upcoming World Cup in 2022, noting that the experience of using audio description for the first time in Arabic in the Arab World Cup will contribute to upgrading and developing this experience. during the World Cup.

The audio-description initiative in the Al-Bayt and Education City stadiums during the Arab Cup competitions is the result of cooperation between the Qatar 2022 World Cup and the Institute of Translation Studies of Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar, and the Center for Facilitated Follow-up of Football Matches in Europe, to train a number of translators and provide them with knowledge And the skills and tools needed to provide audio description service in stadiums for fans with visual impairments.

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