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Clubs in Finland banned from postponing matches, could play away

In what appears ostensibly to be a rather bizarre move, the football authorities in Finland have banned all clubs from postponing matches due to bad weather.

The decision has been made to prevent troublesome fixture pile-ups at the end of the season in what is already a tight schedule, and to cajole clubs into investing in modern all-weather artificial pitches.

According to Matti Apunen, the chairman of the Veikkausliiga (the Finnish top flight), teams who are unable to fulfil their published fixtures will either need to find another suitable venue or "lose their home advantage."

Several teams who play on natural grass pitches have already voiced their concerns over the new ruling, especially top flight outfit IFK Mariehamm, who are based on the Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden.

"It's unfair. We who live on an island will be guilty under the new regulations, and that will be wrong," Mariehamm director Peter Mattsson told HBL.

Overall, the banning of postponements seems a little harsh given average winter temperatures regularly dip well below freezing right across Finland, but we're certain there must be some method in the madness.