LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – One Future Football (1FF) has announced the debut of the first worldwide, digital football league.
More than 250 players from 12 clubs across the globe will compete in the league, which begins on 23 June. It is a first because all of the teams and athletes were made just for the online environment.
The clubs are run and owned by legitimate businesses, like the football media company Football Co and the Indian multinational conglomerate JSW, but they also have a number of famous owners from the sports and media industries, like Jesse Lingard, Patrice Evra, Chris Smalling, and Kamaru Usman.
Similar to stadium football, 1FF is run in a league style with home and away games between teams, followed by play-offs and a championship game.
The league’s clubs and players, who have all been specially built to excite and engage supporters in each market from within their virtual area, have all been designed and created to differ from their real-world counterpart in a number of ways, including how matches are consumed.
Additionally, fans will have more control over the sport they love than ever before thanks to special features that let them own and influence their teams and footballers – choosing everything from which companies should sponsor their team to the athletes’ training schedules to who they sign for.
A 1FF season lasts three months and consists of eleven weeks of regular rounds (two per week), a finals week of play-offs, and the championship match.
Matches are televised for free on social media in the form of eight- to ten-minute highlight reels in an effort to draw in and engage younger people.
One in-game and one off the playing field, respectively, are the two distinct artificial intelligence (AI) engines that power the league.
The former chooses thousands of results per game, accounting for each touch, pass, shot, foul, and clearance as the teams compete on the field.
The latter (a narrative engine) creates real-world events for players outside of game days, ranging from admirable ones like volunteering at charitable organizations to more contentious ones like teammates arguing in practice.
For fans to fully immerse themselves in, these give 1FF a complete ecology.
One Future Football’s CEO and Co-Founder, Pete Davis, said: “The 1FF team has been working tremendously hard to establish a concrete league that appeals to supporters all across the world – regardless of where they are from.
“As football supporters, we observe a trend of young people not being able to connect with the sport due to issues like the difficulty of accessing the sport and the increasing cost of rooting for a professional football club.
“We felt that something needed to be done because there is a real risk of losing an entire generation of fans, especially when you take into account football’s growing social and environmental impact on the earth. This is the reason we established One Future Football.”
He stated: “We’re not attempting to replace stadium football – we are sure we’ve established a world where football fans have a true sense of ownership, that their decisions matter, and that they are actually being heard.
“Footballers who fans can relate to and find inspiration in were designed, and clubs were formed with the DNA of their respective communities in mind.
“One Future Football, in our opinion, will encourage young fans to get passionate about the sport.”