A group of teenage students decided football just wasn’t dangerous enough for them, so instead switched the ball with a blazing coconut.
The coconut, soaked in kerosene, was kicked around by the group enthusiastically; none of the boys seemed particularly bothered at the fact they were coming into contact with the flames.
Not only that, but the teenagers weren’t even wearing any shoes, meaning their bare feet were in contact with the coconut at multiple points.
Take a look at the footage below:
The teenagers, who attend a boarding school in eastern Indonesia, were playing the dangerous game of ‘fire football’ last Saturday (June 1).
Spectators watching the match can be heard screaming, although the players remain calm, continuing to pass the fireball across a yard in Probolinggo.
The game is much shorter than usual football – presumably because the ball disintegrates pretty darn quickly – lasting for 10 minutes in total, with two parts.
A lesser number of players are involved as well, with a group of five people – four players and one goalkeeper – taking part in the risky game.
Luckily, none of the players caught fire at any point during the game, although I’m still not sure how they managed that.
As per Topend Sports, fire football – known locally as Sepak Bola Api – is a unique game played by Indonesian students to welcome the month of Ramadan.
Taking place in the Yogyakarta, Bogor, Tasikmalaya and Papua regions of Indonesia, the sport involves a ball made from a coconut from a palm tree, soaked in kerosene. It’s believed that the coconut is bathed in the combustible liquid for 30 minutes so it burns for the duration of the game.
Pre-rituals are a vital part of the game, with players lighting the coconut on fire before they soak all the players in salt and non-flammable spices. Then, they say a prayer and the game begins.
Players also reportedly ‘train’ their spirit and go through a special ritual which is said to make them impermeable to fire. Prior to the match, players must also fast.
Once all these rituals have been completed, its believed players will no longer be afraid of the fire and so they will play the game well.
Huh. I think this is definitely one I’m going to have to pass on, I’m afraid. Good luck to everyone playing, though!
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).