World’s Longest Football Match set Guinness World Record – Dalit Community India
FOOTBALLERS took extra time to a whole new level when they smashed the world record for the longest game ever played.
Teams from the Cotswold Churches league scored a whopping 626 goals when they played a continuous 35 hours of football.
The Guinness World Record for the longest match was previously 33 hours.
Cambray FC, made up of members of the Cambray Baptist Church, faced the Cotswold All Stars team, from players from the churches league, in a bid to raise £30,000 to build a school for impoverished children in India.
Kick off at Bishop’s Cleeve Football Club was at 6.30pm on Friday and the full-time whistle was blown at 6.30am on Sunday when torrential rain stopped play.
The All Stars were crowned winners with a final score of 333 to 293.
Cambray player Andy Champion, 37, said he was impressed by how competitive the game was.
“We started off quite fast because we were all so excited, but I was actually surprised by the pace of some of the lads hours into the game,” he said. “It was a great effort, but the main thing is raising money for the school in India. Every player has raised about £1,000 each.”
Each squad had 18 players, each on the pitch for three hours at a time before being substituted during a five minute break. The time accrued through the breaks was taken off the total mach time.
For every hour played they earned a five minute break which they could accumulate for a longer rest.
None of the players was allowed to leave the area around the pitch so tents were pitched up along the sidelines, where Guinness invigilators watched on.
Food and drink was brought to them by family, friends and supporters.
The teams had hoped to play for 40 hours, but the heavy rain made the pitch too dangerous.
Pete Sheppard, 24, was on the All Stars team, and said the tiredness was the biggest hurdle. “We did a lot of intense training sessions but they don’t prepare you for how long an ordeal this is,” he said.
“90 minutes is a long time but you are playing double that before you have a break. That last hour, everyone is really counting down the minutes.”
As well as smashing the world record, the players are on target to reach their £30,000 fundraising total.
The money will help the Dalit community in India, who are considered outcasts and denied access to public areas such as parks.
RED International will take the money raised to build a school for the children.
In 2008 Cambray Baptist Church gave money to build a school in Kalayarkovil for 450 pupils.
Footballer’s wife Emily McKeown, who helped organise the event, said: “Supporters have been coming through the night to watch them and have even pitched up their tents as well.