Soccer Ball from the Death Match


The Death Match, Kiev, Ukraine, August 9, 1942


Soccer Ball


Allows user to defeat larger foes


Overuse cause user to die by firing squad


Kicking and retrieving the soccer ball

Collected by

Brady Brown





Date of Collection



This soccer ball is the one used between Start and Flakelf during the Death Match in Keiv. The soccerball grants the user the ability to defeat larger foes, but overuse will cause the user to die by firing squad.


The Death Match (Russian: Матч смерти, Ukrainian: Матч смерті, Match smerti – Match of death) is a name for an exhibition association football game in the summer of 1942 between the team of a local bakery employees "Start" (Cyrillic: Старт) — former professional footballers from Dynamo Kyiv and Lokomotyv Kyiv — and soldiers of air defense artillery, pilots and airfield support personnel "Flakelf" (German: Flakelf) (according to James Riordan the Nazi Wehrmacht). Note that Flakelf is an abbreviated combination of the German words Flak (Fliegerabwehrkanone – air defense artillery) and elf – eleven which was used to denote an association football team (such as London XI). The importance of the game lays in the Soviet propaganda that promotes the unshakable will of Soviet players who sacrificed their lives facing an ultimate adversity. Later most of the players received the medal "For Courage". The Soviet footballers defeated the Germans and, according to the players, on 18 August ten of the players were sent to a German concentration camp. Later six escaped and four were killed. The expression "match of death" has appeared in a Kiev newspaper "Stalinskoye plemya" (Stalin's tribe) on August 24, 1946 (#164, page 3) where a film novel of Aleksandr Borshchagovsky was published. The claims that the name was first used by Lev Kassil in 1943 cannot find a physical support. In 1974 a case about the "Death Match" was opened by the prosecution office of Hamburg and was finally closed by the investigation commission in February 2005. The investigation commission was not able to find any connections between the game and the execution of people who participated in it. In 2005, the Prosecution Office of the city of Hamburg closed the case file about the "legendary" Death Match after over 30 years. The German verdict indicated there was no evidence that the Kievan footballers were shot for being victorious over their German opponents.

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