An exciting collaboration between FIFA, 2014 FWC and CAFE for partially sighted and blind football fans


Trainee commentators in Rio de Janeiro

A dedicated audio-descriptive commentary service is to be provided by FIFA and the Local Organising Committee at all matches played in the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ host cities of Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.


About audio-description


Partially sighted and blind people are often excluded from many cultural and sporting events that most of society would take for granted. In the context of a live football match, audio-descriptive commentary ensures that partially sighted or blind fans have a better understanding of the match they are attending and are able to more fully enjoy the match day experience alongside fellow fans.

Audio-description is similar to radio commentary but there is an emphasis on the stadium experience. Also, the specially trained commentator provides additional narration that describes all significant visual information such as body language, facial expression, scenery, action, clothing, colours and anything else that is important to conveying what the stadium looks like, what is going on during the match, as well as the ambience in the stadium.



The 2014 FIFA World Cup project


16 commentators underwent intensive expert training from the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) and its implementing partner Urece, to deliver audio-descriptive commentary at 26 of the 64 matches of the tournament. Their first training seminar took place in Rio de Janeiro in March 2014, and the commentators have been training hard ever since to perfect their skills.


One important aspect of the training was the live match practice stage. It was organised for the commentators to attend matches played in their relevant host city, and provide an audio-descriptive commentary for blind fans at the match. This gave them their first real-life experience of providing the service at a match, and the feedback from blind fans was hugely positive.


CAFE Managing Director Joyce Cook said, “It is wonderful to see such an enthusiastic and committed group of young people training to become audio-descriptive commentators. They have a huge role to play in creating a fully accessible experience for all football fans attending live matches in Brazil. We would like to say a special thank you to FIFA for the opportunity to deliver this project, and to our partners Urece who have been a pleasure to work with”.


She added, “Together, we can help to improve the lives of many disabled people through football and its fans”.



The FWC audio-descriptive commentary service


Audio-descriptive commentary is a specialised service available to all ticketholders but particularly blind and partially sighted fans attending the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches in:


  • Belo Horizonte (103.3 FM) 
  • Brasilia (98.3 FM)
  • Rio de Janeiro (88.9 FM)
  • Sao Paulo (88.7 FM)


The commentary, which is for free to all users, will be provided in Portuguese by commentators who were trained to describe each match in great detail to paint a vivid picture of the stadium and the live match experience. 


Bring your own headphones and a personal, small, portable FM radio or smartphone with FM receiver and tune in 10 minutes before kick-off to the frequency mentioned above.


Please ensure that any device you use complies with the Stadium Code of Conduct and in particular section 4 on prohibited items ( We hope that you enjoy this inclusive service. 


For more information about audio-descriptive commentary, please visit


To find out more about CAFE and its works, please visit . You can contact CAFE by emailing or by calling +44 (0)20 8621 2405.


To find out more about Urece and its works, please visit You can contact Urece by emailing or by calling +55 21 3172 0218.


6th June 2014







About CAFE

The Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE), established in 2009, is a charity with a purpose to achieve equal access to football. Using the special influence of football, CAFE aims to ensure that many more disabled people can enjoy a football match as an inclusive fan experience and because football embraces diversity in all its forms, to raise disability awareness and the importance of good access more widely throughout the wider society. Most recently, CAFE has extended its activities outside of Europe in collaboration with FIFA and is also starting to engage with other sports.



Urece Sports and Culture is a non-profit association founded in 2005 and based in Rio de Janeiro. The association is led by blind people and offers sports, workshops and special projects to partially sighted and blind people of all ages. The sports offered by Urece include blind football, goal-ball, swimming and athletics.  


About the 2014 FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy

The FIFA World Cup™ is the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world and its impact on society and the environment is indisputable. Staging such a world-class event requires careful consideration of all aspects to ensure a balanced approach and sustainable outcome. FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) take this responsibility very seriously and are committed to reducing the negative and increasing the positive impact of the event on society and the environment.

For more information, please visit: