London, feb 28: A muddy Scottish swamp will host a soccer World Cup in June for amateurs only. Professional players, the organiser says, are too "precious" to join in.
Stewart Miller is expecting more than 100 teams from countries including New Zealand, Germany and Finland to travel to this year's Swamp Soccer New World Championships, the third to be held in Scotland. Teams of six players compete over two days on a pitch churned to mud by a digger in the tiny village of Strachur, near Glasgow.
Miller's hopes of an international clash between professional footballers have been dashed, however, by players' insurance policies.
"I tried to get a Scotland versus England match or Rangers versus Celtic but footballers are too precious these days. They're insured to the hilt and they're not allowed to play in these sports," Miller, who runs a management consultancy during the other 11 months of the year, told an English paper.
"Nobody's ever been injured seriously at swamp soccer, sometimes somebody's got a cut or two in the swamp but nothing big but footballers won't do it."