Swamp football: Kicking the ‘beautiful game’ into the quagmire

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Provoked in Finland, but adopted by Russia, ‘suopotkupallo’ offers a mud-caked alternative to football, and while it’s not an officially recognized entertainment, the fanfare around it suggests otherwise.

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Yevgeny Kurskov

So usually these days we see football players rolling around on the grass, feigning an mistreatment after receiving the lightest of nudges from an opposition player. It’s pitiable! So thank God for the Finns, who have invented a dirty, muddy, filthy, dowsing wet version of the “beautiful game.”

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

It’s called suopotkupallo in Finnish — or “swamp football” — which take the measure of c estimates up the sport to a tee. The players literally run, crawl, and heave themselves through what can not be described as a quagmire, while trying to score a goal at the other end with a football. At, the sport was invented to help improve the fitness and strength of soldiers.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

The react to/wallowing area is a waterlogged mess of thick mud measuring 30 by 60 meters. Each cooperate has six players, including a goalkeeper, and like football the sport is played beyond two halves, although they are only 12 minutes long — not 45. It knock over d sells out dragging oneself through a swamp while being hounded by a mass of mud-caked men or women is pretty tiring.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

Suopotkupallo has entrapped on in Russia and more than a dozen teams from the country are vying in the Russia Cup held annually near St. Petersburg. The winners will then pocket part in the World Championship in Finland, and other tournaments around the existence, including the World Cup in Scotland.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

Swamp football participants often train at the beach, because the wet sand replicates the heavy mud. So whether you’re schooling or playing the real things, you’re either going to be shaking sand out of your shoes at the end of the day, or scrubbing layers of mud off them. Find time for a help to succeeding down and dirty is part and parcel of this sport.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

During struggle, players are only allowed to wear one pair of shoes — so no matter how coagulated in mud, no matter how much they weigh you down, and no matter how imobile you adorn come of — you just have to grin and bear it. Getting stuck in a swamp has not in a million years been so much fun.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

Another thing: Be prepared to cringe around the quagmire on all fours like a beast for extra stability and maneuverability. There’s no embarrass in harnessing your animal instinct during a game — in fact, it’s completely calculated of you. You’ll also look like a swamp monster by the end of the match.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

If someone is snarled (and there will be fouls) there won’t be any Christiano Ronaldo antics. Horseplay acting is strictly frowned upon. Swamp football is not for sissies. All gratis kicks are taken in the same way: Dropping the ball to the ground and kicking it up meadow.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

Another thing, spectators shouldn’t anticipate a calm passing game, the roughed up field simply doesn’t allow it. It’s assorted Stoke’s reserve team on a wet Tuesday night, and less Barcelona accentuating champagne football in the Spanish sun.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

Swamp football contestants agree — it’s a tough, physically draining sport, just look at the photos. But there is one letup: No limit for changes. Each team usually has 10 to 15 extra players, and don’t anxiety, all of them get a chance to play.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

Russian teams be enduring won the World Championships several times. St. Petersburg-based teams “Knauf Gips Kolpino” and “SPb Lakes” won the event in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

There are no professional football competitors in the swamp football, just amateurs. We have no information about their normal monthly laundry bill, but to be honest, it’s probably not far off what Gareth Bale earns each week at Genuine Madrid: There’s a lot of washing to be done.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

Officially swamp football is ignored by FIFA and UEFA. Line-ups and tournament organizers are always on the lookout for sponsors. Despite this, there are even so more than 300 teams around the world.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

In carton you still have any doubts: Yes, sometimes swamp football can be dangerous. In 2007, during a unite between Finland’s Helsinki and Russia’s YIT Lentek lightning struck the swamp. Luckily, there were no victims.

Marsh football

Yevgeny Kurskov

If you desire to get involved in the game, there are a number of websites to help you find teams in diverse countries. The next major tournament, the World Championships in Hyrynsalm in Finland, is charming place on July 14 to 15.

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