The Washington Post

Indonesian kids prove they’re tougher than World Cup players by playing soccer with a coconut husk LIT ON FIRE

Now imagine these soaked in kerosene and lit on fire. That’s the soccer ball. (Hassan Ammar/AP)

Too bad this year’s Summer X Games are already over because this sport deserves a medal. Or maybe not. See, the medal would probably melt because this game, dubbed fire football, involves playing soccer by kicking around a flaming coconut husk that’s been soaked in kerosene for two days.

That does not look street legal. Nor does it look safe. But it does look like an effective way to learn passing skills. According to, however, the game is designed to test “guts and strength.” The Web site writes:

“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… [U]p to four blazing coconuts are used in the game.”

Fireball soccer isn’t for everyone, however. “The scorching version of the beautiful game is popular in many Islamic boarding schools across East Java,” The Daily Mail reports.

(H/t: CNET via Sploid)

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.



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Marissa Payne · June 11, 2014