Colombian Soccer Field Has Two Living Trees as Goalkeepers

A newly-inaugurated synthetic soccer pitch in Bogota, Colombia, has been attracting a lot of attention on social media due to a couple of permanent “players” – two trees growing in front of each goal.

Back in 2017 the District Institute of Recreation and Sports (IDRD) commissioned engineering and architecture studies for the adaptation and improvement of Parque Japon, a park in northern Bogota, the capital of Bogota. Everything was going according to plan until locals in the area surrounding the park learned that authorities planned to remove or relocate some of the trees in the park to make room for a synthetic soccer and volleyball field. The people took the IDRD to court and in January of this year they won, which technically meant that the trees could not be touched by authorities. However, that didn’t stop contractors from moving forward with the soccer field…

A judge ordered the IDRD to “immediately suspend any intervention or administrative action on the trees of Parque Japon, such as logging, transplanting or pruning, by virtue of integrally protecting the collective right to the environment , among others, until there is total clarity about the environmental impact in the area, the protection of trees and community participation. ”

That ruling essentially prevented anyone from touching the trees in the park, including the ones that were supposed to be removed from the planned synthetic soccer field. Normally, the construction company in charge of the project would just cancel or at least delay construction, but in this case they didn’t, choosing instead to go around the trees, which were left standing in front of each goal.

One of the unlikely goalkeepers is a palm tree measuring around 4 meters high, while the other is a stubby brush, and social media is currently hosting debates on which one people think wold do better at preventing goals.


RCN Radio claims that the building went on despite the judges decision to preserve the trees where they are located, but other sources report that the IDRD claims that the species of trees found on the football field are not from protected species and can be removed next year. Which version is true is very hard to verify at this point, but the photos doing the round online these days don’t do the authorities any service.

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