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Each men's squad includes at least one colorblind player

Social ResponsibilityThe TACBIS Project presents a study on the prevalence of color blindness in elite players, based on data collected from national teams and clubs.

About six percent of elite football players have a form of color blindness or an anomaly in color perception, according to the results of a study by the TACBIS project, which has the participation of the Portuguese Football Federation and various football entities European.

The conclusions of this study, which will be publicly presented this Monday, November 14, in Budapest, also reveal that, in most cases, both the players and the club or national team they represent were unaware of the detected visual impairment.

The TACBIS project was set up with the aim of providing evidence of the existence of color blindness in European football, and also creating and distributing resources to support colorblind players, as well as other groups in the football family living with the condition, such as supporters.

Over the last three years, elite players at under-18 level and above, from both national and club teams (from Portugal, Denmark and the United Kingdom) have been tested for color blindness, with the results proving that at least one in which each team has a partial or total inability to identify the colors.

The study also made it possible to verify that coaches and managers of the tested teams demonstrate little knowledge of the condition and that color blindness can have a negative impact on the individual and collective performance of athletes.

Based on statistical evidence, the study points out solutions for eliminating barriers to color blindness in football and suggests, among other measures, the implementation of a regulation to guarantee the best practices by clubs, leagues and competitions, with regard, for example, the combination of equipment colors or signage.

The publication of this information takes place in the antechamber of the 2022 World Cup, with the study estimating that at least 50 colorblind players will be present in Qatar, representing the 32 participating teams, which each bring 26 athletes. One such player is Danish international Thomas Delaney.

What those responsible for the project sayFrancisca Araújo, from the Department of Social Intervention of the FPF, says that “the most important legacy of this study is the identification of players with color blindness”.

“That knowledge allows us to give players and teams the guidance they need to deal with the problem and the proper support,” he explains.

Kathryn Albany-Ward, founder of the NGO Color Blind Awareness, a partner of the TACBIS project, says that the football industry can only gain from the inclusion of people with color blindness.

“We have long wanted to demonstrate the prevalence of color blindness in elite players to ensure that the football industry takes the needs of the color blind seriously. The inclusion of people with color blindness will benefit millions of fans with this condition and could result not only in a better return on financial investments (of individual players), but also in an increase in revenues as, with less 'equipment conflicts', more fans will want to watch to the games”.

Adam Bibbey, professor at Oxford Brookes University, who coordinates the study to be launched this Monday, assures that “25 percent of colorblind players are not reaching the elite level, which is a problem for football, as it means loss of time and a wasted financial investment on the part of the training clubs, and with negative implications for the career and mental health of the players”.

"Some colorblind players have indicated that they don't feel comfortable talking about the issue that affects them, for fear of embarrassment or the negative impact it might have on contract negotiations," added Adam Bibbey.Stats. Color vision impairment affects 1 in 12 men (8%) and 1 in 200 women. There are 300 million colorblind people (34 million in Europe alone). In Portugal, it is estimated that 500,000 men suffer from color blindness, while 27,000 women live with this condition.

About the TACBIS project @TACBISproject It is a partnership between the football federations of Portugal, Iceland and Romania, Danish Superliga club Randers FC, the European Football Development Network (EFDN), Oxford Brookes University and the NGO Color Blind Awareness, funded by European funds through the EU Erasmus+ Sport Programme.