JUNGLE RULES! Head-butting allowed in ultraviolent Florence footy game

A tradition dating back to the 16th century was once again revived in Florence on Sunday with the final match of the annual Calcio Storico. Calcio Storico (historical football) is a traditional sport that is said to be the root of modern football and rugby. It was the most popular sport in Renaissance Florence and it is currently played in June during the celebration for the patron saint of... Еще the city, John the Baptist. The game is played between two teams of 27 players and the only major rule is that the ball has to hit the goal. Punching, kicking and head-butting are all permitted. Failure to hit the goal will result in half point awarded to the opponent. Thus, the game is a mixture of football, rugby and boxing. Four teams, each representing the four historical neighbourhoods of the city, Santa Croce (blue), Santa Maria Novella (red), Santo Spirito (white), and San Giovanni (green), play each other to determine who is the champion of the city. This year final was between Santa Maria Novella and San Giovanni and saw the former winning 10.5 points to 4.

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