The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as it is formally known is one nation under one flag with all its citizens holding one passport and one nationality yet they have four national football teams to represent them. This despite the fact that they are a nation with a population that is about the size of Germany with territorial space that is half the size of France. All of which in my opinion making it unfair that they be allowed to present four national football teams to the world cup when all other nations are only allowed one.
Of course, in this argument I am aware that the average Briton would respond that they are four nations that make up one. This being the case since the UK is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which to a certain extent are not the same country though all their inhabitants are considered subjects (not citizens since they are a constitutional monarchy) of the same country yet it is to this argument that I would respond in the following manner. Before its disintegration the USSR or CCCP was also one nation comprised of many different nationalities, after all that is why it was called the “Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics” with an emphasis on the word republics; among them being Ukraine, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Estonia and other countries. It even being a case where some of these countries were larger than not only England but the UK as a whole and had even been for the most part of their history completely independent yet despite this factor the Soviet Union played as one nation and not each republic independently.
Another argument presented by the British to keep the present situation and this one perhaps being the strongest, is that since England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own separate football leagues; they should also have their own national teams. As that is how it has always been. I however fail to see this as reason to justify four national teams to represent one country and again I use the case of the Soviet Union. It being they who also could have easily established or allowed separate leagues in each Republic that was a part of their country and by doing so they also would have had several teams to represent them in world football which in their case would have been 13 national teams.
The UK however is represented by one team during the Olympics as they are in many sports though for the reason of separate leagues they are not in either football or rugby yet I feel that if they can make one team to represent them in some sports then they should be able or rather be forced to do the same in football and rugby as well. Regarding the next Olympic games to take place in London however, it has already been decided that there will be for the first time a football team called UK.
Of course I am also aware that a lot of people from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England would not be happy with one team to represent them but if one thinks over the matter; it is unfair to the rest that they should get four teams when everybody else only gets one. I however for my part feel that a united team would be stronger and have more depth as I could imagine how it would have been back in the sixties to see George Best on the same team with Bobby Charlton. This a combination that obviously worked for Manchester United in 68 when they won the European championship. As for other combinations which also could have proven suitable on the field, I could think of Jordan, Keegan, Dalglish and Brookings in the 70s or Lineker, Shilton, Rush, Armstrong and Whiteside in the 80s or Gigs and Gascoigne in the 90s yet it was not to be though perhaps it should have been.
Another reason perhaps why one team would be a good thing for all is that in all reality England is the strongest of these teams. As they have the best record of the four in the world cup by far; this leading to many players from the other countries choosing to play for England. This given that with England they stand a much better chance of not only playing in the world cup but of possibly even winning it.
This the case since in all frankness, Northern Ireland has only qualified to three world cups with their last appearance being in 86 in which they failed to make the second round or even win a match. It also being that probably their greatest player; “George Best” never got to taste the glory of a world cup.
As for Wales, though theirs was to play well and go out with their dignity in 58 (after only loosing 1-0 to a great Brazilian team in quarterfinals); they have not qualified to another world cup since or even really come all that close to doing so. All of which perhaps making some Welsh players choose to play for England instead given how they may present a case of having lived in England longer than in Wales and since the nationality is the same; it should not represent a problem to choose England over Wales.
As for Scotland, I have come to believe (jokingly of course) that if four out of four teams could move on in to the second round; they would find a way not to qualify. This being the situation since in 7 world cups and 2 European cups, they never managed to go beyond the first round. This despite the fact that in the 86 and 90 world cups which they played in, 16 out of 24 teams qualified. Actually looking back they would have qualified to the next round in 82 had they been using the system which was used in the 86, 90 and 94 world cups but unfortunately for the Scots it was not. Scotland would also manage the feat of not qualifying further than the first round in the European championship in 96 which by virtue of being held in England was practically played in their own country.
Regarding England, it is they who are the most successful team to come from the British isles since it is they who have not only won a World Cup but have managed a fourth place and to qualify to most of the world cups they have participated in yet I wonder how much stronger their team would have been with Best in Mexico 70 or Jordan, Gemmil and Dalglish in 74 and 78 or with Gigs in 2002. All of which making me of the idea that perhaps it is high time the British thought of having one strong team instead of four weaker ones.
In conclusion I would like to claim that I believe (along with many others) that it is really unfair that one country get to have four teams to represent them even if they have four leagues, as the Soviet Union with all its republics could have easily done likewise yet choose to have one team represent them. Naturally in all this, I am equally aware that such thinking could lead some to ask if it is really fair that the UK also get to have more teams represent them in European cups such as the Champion’s League and UEFA Cup?
My name is Gianni Truvianni, I am an author who writes with the simple aim of sharing his ideas, thoughts and so much more of what I am with those who are interested in perhaps reading something new. I also am the author of the book entitled “New York’s Opera Society” which is now available on Amazon.