This Blind and Deaf Soccer Fan Experiences the World Cup with a Friend's Help

Soccer fan Cesar Daza found a way to help his friend Jose Gallego, who’s blind and deaf, enjoy the World Cup.

- Posted on Jun 29, 2018

Cesar Daza has invented a way for his friend Jose Gallego, who’s blind and deaf, to enjoy the World Cup.

The 2018 World Cup is currently underway in Russia and while most soccer fans are enjoying the action from home, this pair of Colombia national football team supporters are gaining attention for how they take in the game.

A video of Cesar Daza celebrating Colombia’s victory over Poland with his friend Jose Richard Gallego has gone viral. Gallego lost both his vision and his hearing when he was just nine years old. According to the Daily Mail, he suffers from Usher Syndrome, a genetic condition that affects vision, hearing, and balance. The disease is rare but often leads to total loss of sight and hearing, as it did with Gallego. 

Fortunately for the avid soccer fan, he has a friend like Daza. The two men met a few years ago and instantly bonded over their love of the sport. Both avid Colombia supporters, the began attending matches together. Daza taught himself sign language and the two developed a series of hand gestures so that Daza could communicate with Gallego during games. 

Eventually, Daza created a board that mimics the layout of a soccer field. With signals for things like “offside” calls, fouls, red cards, and penalty kicks, Daza crafted a way for Gallego to follow along with the field of play by moving the man’s hands across the soccer board. 

The two gained media attention last year when they attended a match together and Daza used the board to help Gallego watch the game, but a more recent video of the pair rooting for their home team in a group stage match against Poland at the World Cup has officially gone viral. 

In the video, Daza can be seen motioning commentary on the game to Gallego and guiding his hands across the soccer board as the action plays out on the field in a crowded bar in Bogota, Colombia. As the team notches their first of what would be three goals during the match, Daza quickly guides Gallego’s hands across the soccer board, stopping when he reaches the opposing team’s net. From there, the celebration begins and though Gallego can’t see or hear the commotion around him, a hug from his friend and the energy from the crowd seem to be enough for him to realize his team is on their way to victory. 

Currently, Colombia is still in contention, advancing to the knockout stage of the World Cup and looking to face an untested England side in the next few days. We’re sure Daza and Gallego will be watching together come game time. 

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