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Tree Growing in the Stands of a Football Stadium Is Local Team’s Most Famous Supporter

The Resistencia Sport Club, a small football club in Paraguay’s second division, is the first in the world to make a tree growing in the stands of its stadium an official supporter, even offering it a membership card and complimentary jersey.

Resistencia’s evergreen supporter is as old as the club, so both the team and its human supporters consider it part of their history. It was around back when the stadium was a mere football field in the middle of a wasteland, so 20-years ago, when the club decided to built concrete stands for its fans, it never even considered the possibility of cutting down their oldest supporters. Instead, they asked the architects and engineers in charge of the project to come up with a solution that would allow it to thrive. So they built the stands around it, allowing human fans to watch home games in its shade. A couple of years ago, when Resistencia celebrated its 100th anniversary, management decided to honor the tree by making it an official member of the club, complete with its own member card and jersey.

Photo: Resistencia Sport Club/Facebook

“It is going to be one more club member for us, and probably the most faithful one because it’s here 24 hours a day,” Roberto Garcete, president of Resistencia Sport Club, told reporters. “It’s practically like a shield or a badge for us. We are recognized everywhere.Wherever I go, everybody asks, ‘What about your tree?’.”

 

The famous tree of “La Chacharita” stadium is believed to be around 100 years old. It now stands around 20 meters tall, and continues to grow through a hole in the concrete stands. Apart from always being present in the front row of the stands, like a true ardent supporter of the club, it also provides shade for the human supporters who always gather around it on hot summer days, for which the club is very grateful.

 

Interestingly, this is not the world’s only tree growing in a football stadium. A couple of years ago, we wrote about another 100-year-old tree growing in the middle of the football field, at Beijing’s Yucai High School.