RIVERSIDE, CA.- For those days he is not busy giving out gifts around the world, Saint Nicholas is the number 1 fan of a soccer team in Finland, the Football Club Santa Claus which plays in the Nordic city of Rovaniemi.
Founded in 1993, the team was formed after the amalgam of teams Rovaniemen Reipas and Rovaniemen Lappi; and on each game the team takes on the field with a red color uniform with white lines, even their logo is one with a Santa Claus drawn writing the naughty list with the names of those who don’t behave well.
During the holidays, the team takes part on different Christmas related events, like a 5-a-side soccer match where various players dress up as Santa’s elves, as the old tales say.
The team plays at Saarenkylän tekonurmi Stadium or on the Susivoudin kenttä Stadium, depending of the weather, and on 2010 won the Kakkonen group but lost the promotional playoff against HIFK, which stopped the team to a chance to be in the first division.
FC Santa Claus plays on Finland’s Second Division, waiting for a chance to be on the Premiere League; a curious fact, the team doesn't play during December 24th or 25th, maybe because their players are busy with the Christmas celebrations or by not helping Saint Nic.
For Santa’s favorite team, the biggest trophy they have is having won the Midnight Sun Cup (Midnattsonscupen in Swedish); this tournament is being played with the Nordic lights that illuminate Northern Sweden, even at midnight where the Sun is shining 24 hours per day.