Why did Wales qualify for the World Cup and Friesland did not?

The new football

Wales and England play in the World Cup. Strange indeed, so why not participate in the UK? After all, Friesland and Northern Holland could not qualify either.

1988 World Cup qualifiers between the Netherlands and Wales. Rob C. Cross’s photo during National Archives

England and Wales are in the same group at the World Cup, even though both teams are part of the United Kingdom. how is that possible?

After all, Friesland and Limburg are not independently affiliated with FIFA and, as far as we know, have no ambitions. Catalonia would like it very much, and it has had its own team for more than a hundred years, but access is denied. Wales, this strange situation is the solution to the problem of football from time immemorial.

Home Nations

FIFA was founded on May 21, 1904 on the initiative of France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. But in the British Isles, there was absolutely no interest in joining an international soccer organization, which seriously undermined FIFA’s credibility. After all, football originated there. It is as if the Netherlands wants nothing to do with the International Korfball Federation.

In fact, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland are so important to the birth of modern football that they are them Home Nations Called. They actually played tit-for-tat matches against each other in the 19th century, long before FIFA even existed. The oldest official international match dates back to 1870 between England and Scotland – 34 years before it was founded. Before that they had to agree on the rules of the game, otherwise the referee in charge wouldn’t have a nice day.

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In order to arrange it, in 1886, he FIFA Council (IFAB) Founded by Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland. There the organizational foundation of football was laid. the Game rules Thus they are much older than FIFA, and they are all settled in the British Isles.

Four independent members

FIFA start without Home Nations So it was disastrous. In order to merge these unions, they were all offered to become independent members, rather than just the United Kingdom. This meant that the UK had not one vote in FIFA, but four. In the current membership of 211, this no longer matters, but at the beginning of the last century not even ten countries were affiliated with FIFA. Thus, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland gained enormous influence.

Then there was something else: FIFA recognized the IFAB as the guardian of the rules of the game. Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland each received 12.5% ​​of this organisation’s vote, so half of the total. The other half was for FIFA itself. Since a rule change only occurs with at least 75% of the vote, FIFA is therefore unable to decide on this independently. The union always needs at least two supports for this Home Nations: 50% + 12.5% ​​+ 12.5%.

Under these circumstances, the four British associations actually joined FIFA between 1905 and 1911. The only thing that changed was that during the 1920s Ireland split into an independent nation and Northern Ireland, which still belonged to the United Kingdom.

This is why inland nations are crucial to changing the rules. This is why Wales and England participate in the World Cup, while Friesland and North Holland do not.

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