CAF has teamed up with TotalEnergies to launch an initiative aimed at making football matches more accessible to people with visual impairments. The initiative, developed in collaboration with Touch2see, aims to offer a more inclusive match experience by putting in place special measures to enable visually impaired people to fully enjoy the action on the pitch.

The first activation took place on Thursday 18 January, at the Felix Houphouët Boigny stadium in Abidjan, where Cecifoot players selected by the Fédération Ivoirienne des Sports pour Malvoyants et Aveugles (FISMA) attended the match between Egypt and Ghana.

Local players Abdoulaziz Traore (ASDVY), Youssouf Fofana (AJAS) and Kan Marius Kouame (ANAVPACI) were the first to benefit from this initiative. Thanks to Touch2see’s tablet and live description programs, the users were able to follow the match with an exact description of everything happening on the pitch. The ball’s position is determined by an optical tracking system based on artificial intelligence, which presents the players’ movements with the ball, passes and shots via vibrations and haptic feedback that the user perceives by touch. Moreover, an automatically-generated audio description displays the names of the players in action, game time, scores and fouls.

“I am thrilled to be here today. Losing my sight has not been easy, but the experience of using the tablet has given me the courage to attend games at the stadium. We are all so happy and grateful to CAF for organizing the AFCON 2023 in Cote d’Ivoire. Thank you CAF, and thank you TotalEnergies,” said an elated Abdoulaziz Traoré.

The experience will be repeated throughout the tournament, which will be held mainly at the Stade Felix Houphouet Boigny in Abidjan.

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