Teemu Pukki, seen wearing an "I stand with Glen" t-shirt, has called for UEFA to do more to combat racism in football/Lehtikuva

Finland in the world press

Finnish football players were in the spotlight this week when they expressed their support for teammate Glen Kamara by wearing “I stand with Glen” t-shirts.

Kamara, who plays for the Scottish professional football club Rangers, was allegedly the target of racist comments during a Europa League match against the Slavia Prague football club last week. 

All players in Finland’s national team, including captain Tim Sparv and renowned striker Teemu Pukki, were seen donning the t-shirts, which displayed the slogan above an image of Kamara during a training session for the World Cup qualifiers. 

Finland also caught the attention of sports fans when it was announced that the Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be held in the Finnish town of Lahti in 2023. 

The Ironman 70.3, also known as the Half Ironman, consists of a series of long-distance triathlon races, which includes 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of cycling and 13.1 miles of running. It is organised by the World Triathlon Corporation. 

This is the third time that the world championship will be held in Europe. The event will take place on 26–27 August, 2023. 

A new project that aims to create a sustainable source of heat for Helsinki using tropical islands also made headlines this week.

Named Hot Heart, the project is led by the Italian design firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and seeks to create man-made islands capable of storing thermal heat.

The islands will convert energy from wind and other renewable sources to heat in the form of hot water using pumps. The water will then be used in Helsinki’s heat distribution network.  

Meanwhile, a new study by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has found that excessive screen use leads to problematic behaviour among toddlers. 

Researchers noted that the more time preschoolers spent on game consoles, tablets or phones, the more likely they were to develop issues such as hyperactivity, an inability to concentrate and a short attention span.

In other news, the Lapland capital of Rovaniemi is estimated to have lost up to 70 million euros in 2020 due to a lack of business from Chinese tourists during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The city, known for being the official home of Santa Claus, is heavily dependent on tourism for its revenue, with China accounting for the largest number of visitors since 2017.  

Finnish footballers take a stand against racism 

Finland’s national team has come out in support of Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara, who was allegedly the victim of racial abuse during a Europa League match last week.

Footage from the match shows Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela leaning over and whispering into Kamara’s ear. While Kudela disputes the claims, Kamara revealed that the former said the words “You're a f**king monkey, you know you are.”

Kamara has received widespread support from the international football community, with his Finnish teammates donning “I stand with Glen” t-shirts in their latest display of solidarity. 

Original story was published by Sport Bible on 23.03.2021 and can be found here.


Finnish football player Glen Kamara has thanked his teammates for their support following his traumatic experience/Lehtikuva


Lahti to host Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2023

The Southern Finland town of Lahti will be the third European city to host the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. The two-day event has previously been held in Zell am See-Kaprun, Austria in 2015 and Nice, France in 2019. 

Known as the sports capital of Finland, Lahti offers flat and fast race courses and has hosted the Nordic Skiing World Championships six times.

This year’s edition of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be held in Utah, USA in September, while the event will be hosted by Taupō, New Zealand in December next year. 

Original story was published by Tri247.com on 22.03.2021 and can be found here.


Helsinki to be heated by man-made tropical islands

Italian firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) is heading a project that seeks to use a series of man-made tropical islands to provide Helsinki with sustainable heating. 

The islands, which will be situated off the coast of Helsinki, will store thermal energy while also serving as a tropical getaway for Finns during the long winter. 

The project, titled Hot Heart, will include an archipelago of 10 islands measuring 225 metres in diameter and will contain up to 10 million cubic meters of water. 

Original story was published by New Atlas on 18.03.2021 and can be found here.

Finnish study finds increased screen time harmful for children

A new study by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare indicates that increased screen time contributes to reduced socio-emotional development in children in the long term.

The study, which was published in the journal BMO Open last week, examined data on reported screen use of 700 Finnish children aged between 18 months and five years. Researchers found 95 per cent of preschoolers used screens for over an hour daily. 

Those that watched a significant amount of television were more likely to develop numerous psychological problems, while video games were linked to hyperactivity. 

Original story was published by RT on 18.03.2021 and can be found here.

Rovaniemi faces heavy losses from missing Chinese tourists

According to Visit Rovaniemi, the Finnish Lapland city expected a loss in tourism revenue of 200 million euros in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions. 

The city is a popular winter destination for Chinese tourists, who would have generated an estimated 50 to 70 million euros last year. 

China was the biggest long-haul source market for Finland in 2019, with visitors from the country spending a total of $271 million in the same year, a high number compared to other markets.

Original story was published by ECNS on 24.03.2021 and can be found here.


Tahira Sequeira

Helsinki Times