Dozens of footballers have taken part in the Russian Swamp football cup near Saint Petersburg to earn a place in the Swamp Soccer World Cup. The contest, which was officially started in 1998, was inspired by Finland’s top cross-country skiers using natural swamps to train during the summer. Teams consist of a goalkeeper and five field players, with no limits on squad sizes or substitutions during the game. They compete over two 12-minute halves, with no offside rule – and corner kicks, penalties and throw-ins are taken by drop kick. Nearly 200 teams, with more than 2,000 players, both male and female, are expected to take part in the tournament in Hyrynsalmi next month.

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