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Human foosball: New form of soccer developed for pandemic

en play soccer at a local club, Play Futbol 5, in Pergamino, Argentina, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. In order to continue playing amid government restrictions to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the club divided its soccer field into 12 rectangles to mark limited areas for each player, keeping them from making physical contact. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
en play soccer at a local club, Play Futbol 5, in Pergamino, Argentina, Wednesday, July 1, 2020. In order to continue playing amid government restrictions to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the club divided its soccer field into 12 rectangles to mark limited areas for each player, keeping them from making physical contact. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)(Natacha Pisarenko | AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 5:44 PM EDT
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PERGAMINO, Argentina (AP) — Soccer-starved Argentines have found a way to play their beloved sport while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The rules have been altered, and the dazzling end-to-end dashes produced by national legend Diego Maradona are impossible.

The system has been dubbed “metegol humano,” or “human foosball.” It involves dividing the field with white chalk into 12 rectangles and restricting each player to a defined space.

The ball can be passed across rectangles, and players can dribble inside their areas, but leaving one’s rectangle incurs a penalty.

The modified game emphasizes passing and shooting over running and fancy footwork.

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