Magic touch, son

26.02.26: REMEMBER 'land football'? Fifa, the game's world governing body, has finally acknowledged virtual reality football as a sport in its own right.

The decision follows the latest release of Top Score, the VR game from software company K.

Broadcast rights to the game have been snapped up by WorldWeb, which plans to screen a monthly big match from the world VR football league. It expects a global audience of at least 2 billion.

WW monitors the current rankings of VR teams and their players and then selects the games featuring the most exciting sides for broadcast.

K's holograph technology allows the players to maintain a speed and style of game impossible to match on a real pitch - and without any risk of injury, so there will be no opportunity for star players to linger on the treatment table.

Although WW is starting out on a monthly basis - provided the players can stay awake - the number of games that can be played in a season is practically limitless. And likewise, the earnings potential of the top players is almost infinite.

By switching Top Score into single-player mode, fans can also enjoy the opportunity to relive and play in classic matches, such as England's 2006 World Cup final triumph over Germany. Today's VR hopefuls will be able to pit their skills against great players of the past, such as Pelé, Sol Campbell and Sir Matt Busby. AM