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20 May 2017
Paralympic beach soccer match held in Sal
Portugal went up against Cape Verde on Praia Santa Maria on Saturday morning.
Prior to the second day of competition at the Sal Beach Soccer Cup on Saturday, paralympic teams from Cape Verde and Portugal took to the sands of Praia Santa Maria.
Organised by the Local Organising Committee and Cape Verde's Chamber of Tourism, the hosts welcomed their near neighbours to the stadium in Sal as players enjoyed an extra special experience in front of watching locals.
Ultimately it was the visitors who came out on top, Portugal claiming a 14-0 win, with hat-tricks from Tiago Ramos and Jesus Barbosa.
Vasco Santos (2), Rui Diogo (2), Vitor Vilarinho, Luis Ferreira, Lucas Pinheiro and Pedro Santos were also on target.
Regardless of the result, the opportunity for all players to represent their respective nations was welcomed by Rodrigo Bejarano, President of the Paralympic Committee of Cape Verde and General Secretary of African Paralympic Committee.
“This is the first time for such an experience like this, we have no other team of cerebral palsy and this is the first time to have this kind of team so it’s very important for us,” he said.
“The primary objective of our committee is inclusion so this a is a big and a great opportunity for local people with disabilities. They have the right to enjoy the game and represent their country.
“Young people with cerebral palsy don’t usually have this kind of opportunity to do sport. Since 1998, when we created the committee we tried to give opportunities to all of our population and this is what we need to keep doing.”
Portugal coach Vaz Ferreira added: "These matches mean a lot to the players, we have been working for five weeks to be well prepared for today, it has been a really good experience for them."
"We are altogether for five years now but this is the first time we've played a beach soccer match so it's very special."