Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Football under the midnight sun

StiSami cup winners Stil (photo: Ante Jovna Gaup)

I was in the far north of Norway last week, to see the Sami Cup. Here's an extract from my account of the tournament for The Guardian:
An indigenous Nordic tribe known to most people outside of Scandinavia as Laps, the Sami have rejected the latter term after decades and have reasserted their traditional name. Reindeer-herding and lasso-throwing are traditional Sami sports but since the first Sami Cup was held in 1978, the tribe have taken football to their hearts.

Two thirds of the 70,000 Sami live in Norway, another 20,000 in Sweden, with 5,000 or so in Finland and the rest on the Kola Peninsula in Russia. The Sami Cup was set up to help reunite this disparate northern people with teams made up of relatives, local associations and reindeer herders getting together to play football. More than a dozen Sami football tournaments will be staged this summer but the Sami Cup, rotating annually between Norway, Sweden and Finland, is the big one.

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Villle said...
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