Argentines pack on soccer kicks at social distance through ‘human foosball’
PERGAMINO (ARGENTINA) – Soccer-savvy Argentines in the country’s farm belt city of Pergamino have come up with a clever way to continue playing at the same time avoiding risk of spreading COVID-19: a human foosball pitch with separate zones for players so as to avoid physical contact.
The innovative approach has caught the imagination in the South American nation popular for creating soccer legends such as Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, even as the country is reeling under rising cases of the novel coronavirus in recent weeks.
The game, known locally as “metegol humano” has the pitch into rectangular zones with white lines limiting the movement of a player, thereby helping to enforce social distancing. It, however, limits slide tackles or pitch-length dribbles with the ball.
Gustavo Cuiffo, a creator of the project told, “It’s intended for two teams of five players who can run around maintaining distance and without the possibility of touching. Limits are set by the rectangles each team occupies.”
The owner of the Play Fútbol club said, “They are fixed positions like a goalkeeper, a defender, a midfielder and two forwards.” The aerial view has the demarcated court resembling a large foosball table – though with real people and no swivel handles.
Argentina has recorded more than 75,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and around 1,500 deaths.
In Pergamino some restrictions have been relaxed, but soccer fans are having to keep themselves away the country’s soccer league which has been suspended.
Gustavo Santapaola, who took part in a match at the Play Fútbol ground, says, “It is the first time I have kicked in several months. I honestly tell you, I am excited.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.