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Fireball Soccer

Fireball Soccer is game of football (soccer) except the ball is on fire! Known locally as Sepak Bola Api, it is a unique game played by Indonesian students to welcome the month of Ramadan.

Fireball Soccer is a more extreme sport than the regular soccer matches. This is a sport where they test the courage of students in East Java. The sport is celebrated in the Yogyakarta, Bogor, Tasikmalaya and Papua regions of Indonesia.

Fireball SoccerSoccer ball on fire

The ball is made from a coconut from a palm tree soaked in kerosene. Some say they bathe the coconut ball for a week, while others say just 30 minutes so the fireball will burn for the duration of the game.

The pre-rituals before the game are vital things to do by the players. They light the coconut on fire, soak all the players in salt and non-flammable spices, say a little player and start kicking the ball with their bare feet. Players are said to train their spirit and go through a special ritual that apparently makes them impervious to fire.

Players follow set rituals prior to the match, including fasting. It is said that after completing all these rituals, players would no longer be terrified of the fire and play the game well.

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