Football is the most popular sport in Russia. Doesn’t it sound ridiculous? In a country with severe winters people should adore sports on ice. Well, ice hockey games attract a lot of spectators, but Russia has its own hockey and it’s called bandy.
It’s actually a mix of football and traditional hockey. There are 11 players in each team, a big field, a small red ball and of course ice. What makes this sport truly Russian is the outdoor stadium. But of course, since most games are played in winter, it can get really cold at the stands.
Zorky Stadium in Krasnogorsk is the only way to feel the toughness of bandy in the Moscow region. The team, which became the champions more than 20 years ago, now plays in the second tier because the local government reduced funding and demanded that they sell all their foreign players.
Today young upstarts are trying to take the team to the top division. Around 200 people usually come to the stadium to support the guys and discuss the latest news of Krasnogorsk, a small town just outside Moscow, where the stadium is located.
When you go to the stadium to see bandy, you must remember that for the whole game, which lasts as long as a football match, you will have to stand, as it is not possible to sit because of the cold. Get dressed properly, take a large thermos of tea and get ready for the most Russian game of your life.