Unofficial football championships are tonic for post-World Cup blues
July 31, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports NewsFootball fans facing the prospect of waiting four years to see their side make another early exit from the next World Cup finals need not despair. A new book reveals that there is an unofficial alternative: the Unofficial Football World Championships (UFWC).
The UFWC determines football's world champions via a continuous series of boxing-style title matches dating back to the first ever international game in 1872, 58 years before the first World Cup.
The Unofficial Football World Championships: An Alternative Soccer History by Paul Brown (Tonto Press, ISBN 0955218314) is an official guide to this unofficial competition, its matches, players, and stats.
Among the book's surprising revelations is the fact that Scotland are the all-time unofficial champions. Scotland have won more UFWC title matches than any other nation, with England ranked second, ahead of the likes of Argentina, Brazil and Germany.
"Scotland top the all-time rankings because of the home nations' dominance of early international football," says author Paul Brown.
But the Tartan Army shouldn't get too carried away – Scotland haven’t won a title match since 1967. England were the last British side to win the title, with a 1-0 victory over Germany in 2000. Nevertheless, Scottish fans have responded to news of their country's unofficial triumph in typically good-humoured fashion.
"I'm all for anything that makes us look better than we are!" says Tam Ferry of the Association of Tartan Army Clubs.
The idea for an unofficial championship first arose in 1967 when Scottish fans claimed that, in beating official world champions England 3-2 at Wembley, Scotland had become unofficial world champions. The UFWC organisation was created in 2002, with researchers spending several months compiling its statistics.
The unique nature of the UFWC means that there have been many unlikely title holders, including Israel, Zimbabwe, Bolivia and the Dutch Antilles Islands. The current Unofficial Football World Champions are Uruguay. The South Americans took the title from Romania in May. The UFWC website is at http://www.ufwc.co.uk.
Notes for editors:
The Unofficial Football World Championships:
An Alternative Soccer History
by Paul Brown
Published by Tonto Press, July 2006
Paperback, RRP £9.99
Review copies of the book are available on request.
Book author Paul Brown is available for interview.