Fireball Soccer: A Burning Match

3 Jan by Picholas Phoa

Fireball Soccer: A Burning Match

Have you seen the film Shaolin Soccer when the football was kicked so hard it’s on fire? Do you believe us if we say fireball soccer is a legit sport? Yes, it is true, and we are going tell you all about it and answer all your burning questions.

Fireball soccer, locally known as “sepak bola api”, is a traditional sport played by teenagers in Indonesia to put their bravery to the test. Typically, the sport is played at night, to fire up their spirits during the start of Ramadan season (the fasting season).  

The sport is generally played with the same rule as regular football, but with a burning coconut instead of a football. The ball is made of a coconut soaked in kerosene for up to one week. The coconut coir enables it to absorb the fuel, so when it is light up, it can remain on fire for a long time.

Before the game, players must conduct specific rituals to prevent getting burns. According to the locals, the rituals include strict fasting for 5 days prior in order to purify self, avoid eating meals cooked with fire, and recite special prayers.

Fireball soccer is not merely an extreme sport to test the players’ bravery,  but also a way to strengthen the bond between the players. On the side note, the match will definitely light up the soccer field, literally!