UFWC World Cup Classics: Sweden vs Brazil, 1958

Sweden vs Brazil, 1958

The 1958 World Cup tournament culminated in the first ever combined WC final / UFWC title match. This was the first World Cup to be broadcast on worldwide television, and those who tuned in were lucky enough to witness the birth of a classic Brazilian side, and the introduction of a genuine footballing legend. In fact, make that two genuine footballing legends. For alongside the great Pele in the Brazilian ranks was the arguably greater Garrincha.

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UFWC World Cup Classics: England vs West Germany, 1966

England vs West Germany, 1966

1966 and all that was the scene of England’s greatest football achievement. West Germany had beaten the USSR 2-1 at the semi-final stage to take the UFWC title. England then saw off Portugal by the same scoreline to set up an epic encounter. For the final, 93,000 spectators crammed into Wembley Stadium, and an estimated 400 million people tuned in on TV. Then it was game on as England and West Germany contested both the World Cup and the Unofficial Football World Championships.

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UFWC World Cup Classics: England vs USA, 1950

England vs USA 1950

The 1950 World Cup tournament was an organisational shambles, with withdrawals and disqualifications leaving just 13 teams playing in four uneven qualifying groups of four, four, three, and two. Germany and Japan were excluded as they were under Allied occupation, while India were refused entry as they requested to play barefoot. But, crucially, for the first time the UFWC holders were involved. Back in the FIFA family, this was UFWC champs England’s first World Cup appearance, and much was expected of the so-called ‘Kings of Football’.

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Unofficial Football World Championships vs the World Cup

Photo: FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil commemorative silver coin by Ulrich Peters

We love the World Cup here at the UFWC, and are excitedly looking forward to Brazil 2014, which starts in just two months’ time. To add to the excitement, there’s a good chance that the Unofficial Football World Championships title will be contested at the World Cup tournament. Current UFWC champions Uruguay are on course to take the title to Brazil, although they have a couple of tricky title matches to negotiate first. If the UFWC title does go to Brazil, it won’t be the first time the unofficial and official tournaments have crossed over. The UFWC and World Cup lineages are very different, but they have come together several times during football’s long and entertaining history.

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Can Northern Ireland become UFWC champions?

Photo by Jonny Blair

The next Unofficial Football World Championships match is just over two months away on the 30 May, and it looks set to be a classic. Two teams with a proud and successful footballing history and plenty of passion will play each other. First ever World Cup winners Uruguay face reigning British Champions Northern Ireland in the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo – the venue where the World Cup began back in 1930. It will be the light blue of Uruguay against the shining emerald green of Northern Ireland.

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