Russian Clubs Travel Halfway Around The World To Play One Another. Regularly.
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In case you were wondering, everything is more extreme in Russia. We covered birthday parties last time. On to road trips.
FC Baltika Kaliningrad is a football club in Kaliningrad, Russia, situated by the Atlantic Ocean. FC Sakhalin Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is another club in the Russian National Football League, situated by the Pacific Ocean. In the middle is Russia. Like, all of it. These two clubs, separated by thousands (and we mean thousands) of miles play soccer sometimes.
It's quite the road trip, spanning over 10,500 kilometers or 6,500+ miles. According to Google Maps, it would take 146 hours (more than six days) to drive from Baltika Stadium, where FC Baltika Kaliningrad plays, to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk where FC Sakhalin plays. Fortunately, it's only a 14 hour flight. Unfortunately, it would be almost 2,000 hours or 83 straight days of walking:
There's an eight hour time difference between the two cities. How many football matches take place in which jet lag is a prominent factor?
Both teams play in the Russian National Football League, the second tier of Russian soccer. This means they play each other more often than once in a blue moon.
Put it this way: when these two teams meet, one of them has to go literally almost halfway around the world.
Also there's this: both teams are not very good. FC Sakhalin sits at third from the bottom of the table, facing relegation. FC Baltika is one spot higher, but also in the relegation zone. I'm sure there wouldn't be very many complaints if one of these teams got relegated and they didn't have to play each other for a while.
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