By Akeem Busari
The game of Rugby football has been proffered as panacea for the myriad of social vices currently facing the country.
This was the opinion of Barrister Akinwunmi Akintola, Chairman of Lagos State Rugby Football Association, while speaking on plans to make the sport well-accepted by sports lovers in the country.
The former Nigeria rugby star debunked fears that rugby is a dangerous, saying that the description of rugby as a ‘sport of hooligans, played by gentlemen’, is a testimony of the life-building ethos associated with the game.
Akinwunmi, a grandson of the late Premier of the defunct western region, Chief Ladoke Akintola, went on to enthuse greatly about the inherent potentials of rugby as a panacea to the several social vices affecting Nigerian youths and the country, in general.
“Many people do not really know or understand this game. It seems rough to the eyes, but the technicalities, passion and the zeal on display during the games, makes it so exciting.
“Apart from football, rugby has the potentials to boost the socio-economic life of any community or country. It is a billion-dollar industry.
“More than anything, some of the ethos of rugby that includes, teamwork, discipline, commitment and responsibility, are indeed, necessary tools towards living a better and responsible life,” he stressed.
He noted the apathy of government and corporate bodies towards the sport which he described as unfortunate and painful.
He however, disclosed that he was presently working with other genuine stakeholders in Nigeria to change the narrative and make other lesser known sports thrive.