A novel sport that would compete favourably with football and other related sports, was launched by a Nigerian, Bonny Opia, on Saturday in Lagos.
At the event, Dr. Opia, a lecturer, explained that football enjoyed great followership across the world, including Nigeria, but that the newly introduced game would come with well-thought out features that would address major limitations of the current game of football.
“In principle, the new game is similar to but differ in many respects from the extant soccer game in areas such as field design, rules and method of play with invaluable new features that addresses major limitations of the current game,” Mr. Opia, a doctorate degree holder, who lectures Business Administration at the Delta State University told journalists in Lagos on Saturday.
He explained that the new game which will soon be christened, was played not necessarily to put the ball into the net but to target and achieve specific goals while doing so.
“Three major goals that players of the novelty will seek to achieve are: peace and conciliation, gender equality and education and learning,” he said.
He said the three goals were part of the 17 Social Development Goals unveiled by the United Nations at the 70th United Nations General Assembly.
He further explained that the unique feature of the new game is the role of a 12th player which bears a crown in which the goals that players seek to accomplish are embedded, a feature that is inspired by a feature of baseball and cricket.
He said: “It is a game in which penalty kicks can be taken with no goal keeper in post; goals scored under some conditions such as goals scored in the last minute are doubled; the goal post by design reduces the chances of the ball not crossing the line whenever it hits the cross bar.
“This soccer-like game can be performed on a playing field made of natural grass or synthetic materials.”
Mr. Opia, who is an Alumni of the Brown International Advanced Research Institute of the Brown University in the United States, said the introduction of this novelty was an attempt to enrich the common humanity with a game whose utility rests not only in entertainment but will serve as a tool for promoting individual and organizational causes.
“We are convinced that the United Nations, individual countries and development organizations will find in this game a potent tool for promoting goal orientated behaviour and mobilizing citizens for action,” he said.
According to him, the operational name of the game, standard field design, rules, method of play, administrative framework and related matters, will be disclosed at a media launch to be held on a future date to be announced soon.