An old Greenlandic legend says that when you see Northern Lights, it is actually a football game played by spirits using a walrus skull as a ball.
Beside the traditional legend, football and other ball games are some of the favorite activities up here.
"Despite the remoteness of our towns, there is always a football pitch."
"The first official soccer stadium was built back in 1964."
50 years of football in Greenland
The first official soccer stadium was built back in 1964 in Nuuk, capital of Greenland. Already then people wanted to have a dedicated place for their ball games and football practice. In the last 50 years despite the weather and terrain challenges, football has spread all over Greenland and its popularity is ever growing.
Summer is football season
If you think we play football only during nice summer days you are mistaken. Here in Greenland we play football all year around no matter the weather. On that summer day in Qeqertarsuaq, these boys were more fascinated by the ball they were chasing than the fast changing landscape around them.
"Here in Greenland we play football all year around."
"All you need are some warm clothes, an orange ball that will be visible on the ice and a bunch of friends."
Winter is football season too
The coldest winter months never prevent players from enjoying a friendly match. All you need are some warm clothes, an orange ball that will be visible on the ice and a bunch of friends. In Nuussuaq a settlement in the Upernavik district, North Greenland, there is even a winter football tournament on the sea ice. People come by dog-sleds from the entire region to participate and celebrate the game, meet friends and enjoy the winter.
Rough pitch for international players
Some players come from far away to give a football match in Greenland a try, like Robert Pirès, Arsenal player and former French World Cup champion. Pirès came to Greenland with the Variétés Club de France team to challenge the local players. The local team won 10-0 the first match. The French players blamed it on the rough weather conditions, but did manage to win last game 0-3. Despite the rainy weather, fans were for sure there to support their teams.
"Pirès came to Greenland with the Variétés Club de France team to challenge the local players."
Talking about fans, maybe you have not yet noticed, but in Greenland we only use natural rock bleachers. You will find rock bleachers everywhere rising above the football pitch, people would just gather, cheer and share the sports. This match was played in Ilulissat, North of Greenland.
A grass always green
If you haven’t noticed yet, football pitches in Greenland come in a rougher version than their counter parts in Europe or the US. Some towns in Greenland are getting equipped with an artificial grass pitch, like the one above, set in Maniitsoq, Destination Arctic Circle.
A hidden pitch deep in Godthåb fjord
But if you are like Eric Drummond of "Ice Cold Gold", the season 3 show runner Patrick Deluca and David Casey from Moxie TV, there is nothing better than a football pitch deep in the Godthåbs Fjord and an evening match with their friend, Erik Palo of Arctic Boat Charters.
"Sports is always a great way to interact with the locals."
Best view and setting in the world
Despite the remoteness of our towns and settlements, there is always a football pitch with a central location and a stunning view, if you feel like a football game. Sports is always a great way to interact with the local population.
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