Lelo is one of the hardest sports in the world. It is similar to rugby but without rules, punches are allowed, serious injuries occur every year. Nevertheless, the men from Shuchuti, a small village in western Georgia, play this game every Easter Sunday. But it is not only sporting ambition that drives the players to risk their health, but also their deep belief in God. Each of the two teams plays in memory of one villager who died in the previous year. The winning team places the ball on the grave of this person in honor of his death.

Georgia is located between Russia, Iran and Turkey and has a warlike past, the last time it was at war with Russia in 2008. Lelo means something like "snatch" and has a pagan origin. Georgian warriors are said to have played it in preparation for battle 1,000 years ago. Today the village is known for Lelo across the country.


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