Here in the United Kingdom, we are really starting o feel the cold of January… But when you look at teams like FC Tom Tomsk, it becomes clear that we have nothing to complain about. The team play in the Siberian city of Tomsk in Russia, where the temperature is currently so cold that they can’t even play football. Russian football takes a winter break due to the harsh conditions from December-March, and the city of Tomsk experiences some of the worst weather.
In November 2016 early winter conditions hit Russia hard, meaning that Tom Tomsk took on Spartak Moscow in temperatures of -15 degrees Celsius at the Trud Stadium in Tomsk. A lack of underground heating in the stadium contributed to a tough 90 minutes for players and fans, with the current league leaders Spartak Moscow eventually winning 1-0 despite a spirited performance from the home team.
The badge of the club displays the Latin phrase “Sui Generis”, which translates into, “of its (his, her, or their) own kind; in a class by itself; unique” – it is hard to imagine a more unique way to play football than in -15°C temperatures, when the human body is not really designed to function, let alone kick a ball around a frozen pitch. FC Tom Tomsk currently sit bottom of the Russia Premier League, a league that they were first promoted to for the 2005 season. With a change to some warmer weather not far away, Tom Tomsk will be hoping that their fortunes change when football returns in the Spring.