Three-sided football, invented by the Danish situationist philosopher Asger Jorn, comes to London on Saturday May 4 in the biggest tournament of its kind in the UK. Co-hosted by the Deptford Three Sided League, which organises a regular Sunday League version, and Philosophy Football, which has participated in three similar tournaments in Madrid, Rome and Bilbao: the last played in a bull-ring. The teams at this Saturday’s tournament also include a team of Scottish comedians and of Polish builders.
What is three-sided football?
Three-sided football was created by Asger Jorn as an alternative to the confrontational nature of two-sided football. Unlike the conventional game, the team that wins in three-sided football is that which concedes fewest goals. This ensures a match that is strong on tactics and teamwork, with the three sides switching allegiances and forming alliances as the dynamics of the game shift. Your enemy soon becomes your friend and counter-attack takes on a new meaning as the direction of play turns rapidly across the hexagonal pitch. Corners and throw-ins are not the property of any one team, and this can often lead to intriguing philosophical debate between teams and the two referees who officiate.
It is perhaps unsurprising that Philosophy Football should be one of the main pioneers of three-sided football, given their reputation for playing deep in accordance with the words of philosophical wisdom that adorn their shirts. During the 2010 General Election they co-hosted a tournament with Whitechapel Art Gallery in which the three sides represented the three main political parties. Then they joined teams of football correspondents in Madrid before playing that epic tournament in a Spanish bull-ring which was captured by Italian TV. Saturday’s tournament will be the first international three-sided affair in London, but given the concern over what is happening to the soul of the beautiful game it is an idea which may have found its time.
The tournament will be played on the rugby pitches (which have been converted into the hexagonal layout for three-sided) at Regent’s Park, starting at 11 am.
For interviews: Geoff Andrews (Philosophy Football) 07976 635489
Three-sided football http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_sided_football
Philosophy Football FC http://philosophyfootballfc.org.uk/3sided.php