Boarding students in Indonesia play the game of soccer in a much different way than the rest of the world — they play with a flaming coconut. As part of a test of “psychological toughness and spiritual strength,” players prepare for 21 days by fasting and praying in an attempt to learn how to tame fire before taking the pitch.
After the 21 days, teams consisting of five players each take the pitch bare-footed and play the 60 minute match with a flaming coconut that has been soaked in kerosene for two days.
This is a very popular game for Islamic boarding schools across East Java, apparently. The match organizer Ali Akhyar says that, “we make a fireball to test the guts of the students.” Uhhhh, alright?