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HELSINKI (AP) — Christmas came early for Santa's football club.
FC Santa Claus, a soccer team from northern Finland, was promoted to the second division after beating Rotuaarin Pallo 1-0 in a snowless away game on Sunday.
Team spokesman Jouni Toyras says "we're happy to show people that we're in this for fun, but we also take it seriously as you can see from our fine result."
Santa Claus clinched first place in the third division with 50 points — and 104 goals — from 20 games.
The red-and-white team, founded in 1993, comes from Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland near the Arctic Circle, with a snow cover normally from October to April. The region claims to be Santa's home.