3sided football, the brainchild of the Danish Situationist Asger Jorn, has grown rapidly over the last couple of years, with tournaments in matches as far apart as Colombia, Spain, Turkey, Lithuania and the United Kingdom. In Spain, Philosophy Football played in a bull-ring in a match organised in association with Athletic Bilbao. In Istanbul, the first ever 3sided football match played in Turkey was followed by an impromptu midnight game on Taksim Square, in support of the protests there. The matches have attracted some remarkable publicity, including peak time viewing on the BBC in London.
The growing enthusiasm for this type of football has been a little surprising, but surely reflects the view that the simple pleasures of the beautiful game are losing out to the corporate dominance of big business, while the three sided version offers a different tactical approach. A hexagonal pitch, three teams and three goals; the team which concedes fewest, rather than scores most, goals wins and the real human values of cooperation, trust and betrayal are played out on the pitch.
During the weekend of 23–25 May, in Asger Jorn’s home town of Silkeborg and in his centenary year, the first ever 3sided football World Cup will take place, giving full justification to his original idea and over twenty years since the first 3sided football match took place in Glasgow, Scotland. Nine teams will take part, representing the radical philosophical traditions from Lithuania, Turkey, Germany, Denmark, Poland and the United Kingdom. It will be preceded on the Friday by a seminar and no doubt followed by a great festival of internationalism, exchange and debate. It will be a radical celebration of football and philosophy just weeks before the official World Cup is held in Brazil.
Geoff Andrews, Philosophy Football
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