Nigeria has been listed to feature in the inaugural Walking Football World Nations Cup which will take place in Manchester, England, from August 24 to August 26.
Walking Football is a special small-sided ball game created by British John Croot in 2011. It’s similar in some respects to Association Football and this is what makes it such a great sport.
Contrary to normal Football, the Walking Football team comprises six players including a goalkeeper and five players. Players are only supposed to walk with the ball rather than running with it.
There are now thousands of teams and sessions all over the UK with players now featuring in over 50s, over 60, and over 70s. The sport has also proved popular with women and is played by women from over 40s.
Two other African countries Rwanda and Egypt will be part of the biennial tournament.
Things to know about Walking Football:
Six players each per side. Five outfield players and a goalkeeper.
Each game is 40 minutes long, that is 20 minutes per half.
No running or jogging, with or without the ball.
The game is all about low impact tackling only. No sliding tackles, no off sides.
The ball must not be kicked or defected by any outfield player, or thrown (by the goalkeeper) above head height. Free kicks are awarded to the opposing team if the ball travels above head height.
Rebounds are off walls for indoor matches. Corners and ‘kick ins’ for outdoor matches, awarded to the team not touching the ball before it last crossed the barrier.
All free kicks are indirect (i.e players cannot shoot directly at the goal. They must pass instead).
Goals can be scored from any outfield position. Goals cannot be scored directly from kick offs, kick ins, drop balls, goalkeeper’s kick, save or throw.
Three roll on, roll off substitutes permitted per game. Substitutions can be made when there is a break in play, the ball is dead or the goalkeeper has possession of the ball.
Referee operates red, yellow and blue card procedures. Blue card indicates a two-minute Sin Bin for the player.
Players sent off can take no further part in the match. A substitute may be used to replace a player sent off after 5 minutes or first conceded goal, whichever occurs first.
Players are not allowed in the penalty area (except by momentum and no advantage gained). If a player enters in the penalty area deliberately or denies a clear goal scoring opportunity – a penalty is awarded to the attacking team.
Opposing players must stand at least 2 meters away from the ball when a corner, free kick or ‘kick in’ is taken.
If a free kick is on the penalty area line, the ball must be moved back 2 meters (to allow defenders to position themselves between ball and goal).
Outfield players are not allowed to hold onto walls (indoor matches) or barriers (outdoor matches) to block or shield the ball.
A goalkeeper must wear a shirt or bib that distinguishes them from outfield players.
A goalkeeper can receive back passes. He may either kick or throw the ball back into play. Goalkeeper throws must be under arm.
Possession is given back to the goalkeeper if the ball travels above head height whilst being deflected or saved by the goalkeeper.
A goalkeeper is not allowed outside the penalty area (except by momentum whilst making a save). If the goalkeeper leaves the penalty area deliberately or denies a clear goal scoring opportunity – a penalty is awarded to the attacking team.