To play football with slippers and children’s light weight plastic football – how very bizarre idea! That’s how the Finns have been playing a couple of summers now. The combination of the unpredictable ball and the slippers that will easily fall off makes the game interesting. The five-a-side game is played on 30 x 40 metres wide grass pitch which is bound to be slippery under your footwear.
Reino and Aino slippers are one of the most traditional household brands in Finland along with Fazer Blue chocolate. All the Finns recognise the slippers and nearly every one has a pair, if not two. The slippers are easy to put on and comfortable to wear. We still remember our grandfathers in their Reinos and grannies in their Ainos walking about doing daily chores. The slippers have become modern favourites and they come in all sizes and various colours. Baby slippers in pink and light blue are nearly as popular as funky lime or purple coloured that teenagers are wearing all year round. The traditional brown Reinos and red Ainos still hang on there, too. One has to give credit to some of Finland’s leading sports and rock stars in promoting the slippers and giving them boost to the 21st century. Today it’s possible to have customised slippers – the ones in the Finnish national ice hockey team’s colours have been a great success.
In Vesanto, central Finland this Reino fever has been combined with football since 2007. Starting with a small local tournament it has grown to be one of the most interesting summer events in the country. In the 2012 World Championship tournament there will be altogether 90 male and female teams competing. That is nearly a thousand players! There will be players from Estonia and some other European countries, too. Even though it is a competition the teams usually are groups of friends having fun – that involves crazy costumes and fun loving attitude. The main motivation is definitely not sweat, blood and tears.
The event has grown throughout the years to be nearly full blown carnival, so you can watch the games and enjoy the atmosphere all day to the late night when the live bands will perform in the night venue.
Welcome to Vesanto on the 20th – 21st of July!
-          only the original Reino (men) and Aino (women) slippers are acceptable (any colour)
-          in the championships division women have to wear Ainos, they are allowed to wear men’s Reinos in the hobby division
-          one is not allowed to change or use any adhesives to prevent the slippers from falling off
-          if illegitimate footwear is found on a player the opposing team will get a penalty kick (for each illegitimate footwear the opponent gets a penalty kick)
-          the ball is light weight plastic children’s toy ball
-          the game pitch is 30 x 40 metres wide
-          the duration in the starting games is 1 x 15 min, and in the semi-finals and the finals 2 x 10 min
-          the game is five-a-side, and maximum amount of five reserve players per team, the referee gives the permission to change players
-          playing without slippers causes two minutes in the “sin bin”
-          the two minutes starts running from the free kick
-          if a player is in the “sin bin” three times in one game he or she is banned from that game and the team cannot take a replacement
-          the player that is banned or that gets a red card is not allowed to play anymore?
-           if the player acts in an extremely bad manner and against the spirit of the tournament the jury of the tournament can ban the player from playing in the tournament
-          there are no offside rules
-          charging / sliding tackles are forbidden
-          otherwise normal football rules are used
-          drinking alcohol in the pitch is forbidden
-          players use their own slippers which are inspected before the game
-          a player can play only in one team
-          there is no minimum age limit
-          there can be only two licensed players per team in the hobby division ….