DUBAI: Imagine trying to play table tennis with a football, using your feet instead of a paddle. In essence, this is what Teqball, a game developed by a trio of Hungarian football fans, is all about – and at Expo 2020 Dubai, visitors no longer have to imagine, with an opportunity to try Teqball for themselves.
A special curved table, with an arched surface, is used for the games, with players kicking the ball back and forth to one another. Anyone is welcome to play Teqball at Expo’s Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub.
Coach Adam Bako said: “Teqball is a technical sport combining elements of football and table tennis. It is a very popular sport in Hungary. In fact, many professional Hungarian football players and international football clubs are playing Teqball. It not only tests physical agility but players have to also think on their feet while playing the sport.”
Teqball has its own set of unique rules: players can use any part of their body except their hands to pass the ball to their opponent, and the ball itself is a lighter version of a football, which is easy to bounce and hit. Could it be an Olympic sport by 2028? Its creators certainly hope so.
Emese Sarkadi-Szabo, Communications Manager at the Hungarian Pavilion, said: “Our aim is to showcase Hungary’s achievements at Expo. Teqball is one of our biggest innovations in the field of sport, and a source of great national pride. We want to introduce Teqball to the region, including the wider public, and what better place than Expo 2020 Dubai? The response here has been phenomenal so far, and everyone has enjoyed playing it. Teqball is a sport for men and women of all ages. In fact, it is an inclusive sport, and people with disabilities can play it as well.”
Teqball is slowly gaining momentum in the UAE – members of the UAE national football squad actively play Teqball and represent the sport in tournaments. Teqball equipment and coaches are available for Expo visitors at the Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub until the first week of January 2022.