BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Talk about a crooked team: A club in soccer-mad Argentina has been playing nearly 30 years on a crooked field.
Liniers club in the country’s fifth-division has called the field home since 1987. Its players have learned to make the best of the field even when one half is shorter than the other and from above it looks more like a trapezoid than a rectangle. But the Argentine Football Association recently gave the club a Dec. 15 deadline to fix the field or risk its permanent closure.
Liniers President Marcelo Gomez says that officials realized that the field was crooked after they saw aerial images on Google Maps.
“The field always worked without a problem,” Gomez said. “We knew that it’s something we needed to fix one day, but this order just came all of a sudden.”
Former Liniers player Silvio Fuentes said he grew fond of the field and even scored Olympic goals thanks to its shortcomings.
“After training, I’d always stay kicking corner kicks. I scored nine Olympic goals in my whole career — and five of them were here with Liniers,” said Fuentes, who played with Carlos Tevez in the lower-divisions of Boca Juniors.
Experts say that the out-of-proportion field goal line might not help the kicker but it does distract the goalkeeper.
“Our field was always the one with the crooked goals,” Liniers forward Maxi Castano told local La Nacion newspaper. “No one got mad about it. The rival teams would just joke with us, but everyone knew the field was a bit abnormal.”