AT THE end of October 2018, HJK were crowned Finnish champions for the sixth time in the last eight years and the 29thtime in their history. Football has to compete with other national pastimes in Finland, such as Pesäpallo, which is often referred to as “Finnish Baseball”, a fast-moving bat and ball game that was invented in the 1920s. And of course, there’s Ice Hockey, which is actually the most popular sport drawing average crowds of around 4,500 versus the average Veikkausliiga attendance of 2,300. From a football perspective, Finland has rarely made an impact on the international stage. They have never qualified for the World Cup or European Championship finals and their clubs have barely made a mark on the major European competitions.…