Thursday, July 14, 2005

Swamp Soccer Tournament Kicks Off Tomorrow (Jul. 15)

HYRYNSALMI, Finland (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Some say soccer is played at a snail’s pace, and that will be as obvious as ever during the 2005 Swamp Soccer World Championships, which kicks off Friday (Jul. 15) in Finland.

Six-thousand players on nearly 260 teams from all over the world will be sloshing the soccer ball around fields soaked in muddy water during the three-day event in the town of Hyrynsalmi.

The 650 scheduled matches will be played in the Swamp Arena, which consists of roughly 15 fields, slightly smaller than regulation soccer pitches.

Although the event is intended for soccer die-hards, organizer Jyrki Vaananen, who put together the first dirty competition in 1998, says the tournament’s soggy condition is especially popular with ice hockey players and cross-country skiers.

While soiled drawers, water-filled shoes and mouths filled with dirt will be common, Vaananen says injuries won’t be because, as he puts it, “You can’t run very fast.”

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