Never Watched Football at the Bottom of a Lake? Imotski. Sunday.

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Photo credits Vukodlaci & Vilenjaci Facebook and Petar Marakana Ujević

Photo credits Vukodlaci & Vilenjaci Facebook and Petar Marakana Ujević

September 18, 2020 – What is the most unusual football match you have been to? Can you beat a game between elves and werewolves at the bottom of a lake? Welcome to Imotski!

I have heard of some quite unusual sports and sporting venues on my travels over the years, but nothing quite like this. 

A football match at the bottom of a lake. 

The location is the gorgeous Blue Lake of Imotski in inland Dalmatia, about 30 minutes by car from the Makarska coast. Ordinarily, the Red and Blue Lakes are the town’s star attractions due to their undoubted beauty, but this Sunday, attention will turn to the Blue Lake for a totally different – and very bizarre – reason. 


A football match at the bottom of the lake. 

For the Blue Lake is no longer blue, at least for now. 

In fact, the Blue Lake currently does not exist. 

Depending on the time of year you visit, the level of the Blue Lake will be at a different level. It is at its fullest after the melting of snow on the nearby mountains, and its level is lowest after the hot summer season. And some years, when the summer has been particularly hot and rainfall particularly scarce, the unthinkable happens. 

imotski-lake-football (4).jpg

The Blue Lake disappears completely, leaving only a dry muddy bottom. 

This used to happen about twice a century, but it has now happened four times in the last 30 year, including right now. And what happens when a lake dries up?

That’s right – the elves and werewolves come out to play. 

In what must surely be one of the most bizarre football matches and traditions on the planet, two teams known as the Vukodlaci (Werewolves) & Vilenjaci (Elves) take advantage of the dryness of this most unusual football pitch to battle for local bragging rights. 

The match last took place in October, 2017, and you can watch an excellent video report of that occasion in the video above. 

This year’s match will take place this Sunday, September 20, with kick-off at 15:00.

imotski-lake-football (2).jpg

The funny thing is, however, that Imotski regularly features in global lists of the top 10 strangest football stadiums in the world, but for quite another football pitch. 


That honour goes to the Gospin Dolac stadium, which is built into the Imotski rock, less than a football kick away from the Blue Lake – this is how it looks in more normal times. 

If only the compilers of these lists knew the true secrets of Imotski’s truly bizarre football pitch heritage. 

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