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World Cup 2018: Deaf and blind Colombia fan gets some helping hands

Improvised hand gestures help fan keep up with the on-field action

Colombian Jose Richard Gallego spent his childhood watching and emulating his football heroes playing for local club Milionarios.

All that changed when he got sick aged nine and ended up both deaf and blind.

Mr Gallego’s disability meant he could no longer enjoy the stadium visits that so thrilled him as a child. But thanks to some help from his friend Cesar, he can now follow Colombia’s World Cup 2018 exploits in real-time.

The two men hold hands over a cardboard cutout football pitch as the match is played on TV. Cesar learned sign language to be able to communicate with his friend, and the two have devised a special series of hand gestures to describe events on the pitch.

The novel communication method meant Mr Gallego was able to follow - and celebrate - Colombia's 3-0 win over Poland along with all his other compatriots.

Colombia will now face Senegal on Thursday at 4pm. 

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