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Indonesians using blazing coconut as balls during 'guts and glory' fiery football matches

London, Thu, 11 Oct 2012 ANI

London, Oct 11(ANI): Players in Indonesia are playing football bare footed with a burning coconut as the ball, in an attempt to show off their guts and strength.

These players prepare for these football matches for 21 days, which includes praying and fasting and learning to tame fire.

When they are ready, the tough 60 minutes of football begins played in bare feet with a burning coconut, which has been soaked in kerosene for two days, and up to four blazing coconuts are used in the game.

The scorching version of the beautiful game is popular in many Islamic boarding schools across East Java.

The teams, which consist of five players, are playing the game in a tradition related to pencak silat, a traditional Indonesian martial art.

"We make a fireball to test the guts of the students," the Daily Mail quoted match organiser Ali Akhyar, as saying.

The players pray before the game to not get burned before heading out on to the 25m by 25m pitch.

The aim of the pre-match rituals, and the match itself, is to give the players' psychological toughness and spiritual strength.

The methods aim to make the players heat resistant, to the point where fire does not burn their skin. (ANI)


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