Hate to say we told you so, but fans of the Unofficial Football World Championships aren’t surprised to see the Netherlands, some say Holland, reach the World Cup semi finals. The Dutch are already Unofficial Football World Champions, and have been since November 2008. Since then they’ve been unbeaten in a record-equalling 20 UFWC title matches. Official Champions Italy flew home from South Africa last week. But Unofficial Champions the Netherlands are still there and could well go on to achieve the magnificent feat of becoming both unofficial AND official champions by winning the World Cup.

But how did we get here? Over the course of the World Cup so far this website has attracted a lot of new visitors (around 100,000 of them), so it seems right to offer a quick recap on what the UFWC, how it works, and how the Dutch came to be champions.

The first thing to say is that, whatever happens, the UFWC will continue after the World Cup, so please do keep visiting us here at www.ufwc.co.uk, or get updates by following us on Twitter (@UFWC_Football) joining our Facebook group, signing up for our newsletter, joining our Forum, or maybe all four. (I also tweet UFWC updates and comments on Twitter – I’m @paulbrownUK.)

So what is the Unofficial Football World Championships (UFWC)? Basically it’s an alternative way of working out the best team in the world. It works in a continuous boxing-style title match system, where winners of title matches become title holders and champions, and move up the rankings. The UFWC goes right back to the very first international match in 1872, 58 years before the first World Cup. Every FIFA accredited A match counts in the UFWC, including friendlies. So, when the World Cup finishes, the UFWC will continue to roll on. For more on the history and background of the UFWC see the About section and the FAQ.

The UFWC as an organisation has been around since about 2002. We’ve got a trophy – the CW Alcock Cup – although it’s currently a virtual trophy only. (We’re looking for a sponsor to help us create and present a real version to the winning teams!) We even have a mascot – Hughie the UFWC dinosaur. As you can probably tell, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and the main aim is to make football even more fun and enjoyable than it already is.

So how did the Netherlands get to be UFWC champions? Basically, they defeated the previous champions Sweden 3-1 in November 2008. As previously noted, they’ve remained undefeated since then – either a win or a draw means the team retains the UFWC title. A win gets them a ranking point and moves them up the ranking table. The Dutch are currently 4th in the all-time table, but could go 3rd if they win the World Cup. (Oddly, Scotland top the rankings table, mainly because they dominated the UFWC in the early years of international football when there weren’t many teams involved.)

So now we know that current UFWC champions and title holders the Netherlands will play Uruguay in the World Cup semi finals on Tuesday. (We’ll preview the game on Monday.) If the Netherlands win, they will retain the title and take it into the final. If Uruguay win, they will steal the title and become the new unofficial champions. Whatever happens, at the end of the tournament there will be a unification of the UFWC and WC with one side walking away as both unofficial and official champions.

So, exciting times for the Unofficial Football World Championships and football in general. We’ve no doubt that existing UFWC fans are loving this, and hope that those new to the UFWC will enjoy it too. The UFWC is all about the fans, aiming to make football even more fun and exciting than it already is. Good luck to the Netherlands and Uruguay, and remember that on Tuesday they will be playing for a place in the World Cup final AND the Unofficial Football World Championships. Enjoy.

About Paul Brown

Paul is a freelance journalist and author. He created the UFWC in 2003, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book. He can be found on Twitter @paulbrownUK.

4 thoughts on “As the Dutch go marching on, a UFWC recap

  1. Tiago Maranhao

    Has that ever happened before? The “unification” of the UFWC and WC??

  2. Paul Brown Post author

    @Tiago Maranhao Yes, Italy held both the unofficial and official titles in 2007. Germany, Brazil, Argentina, France, Uruguay and England have all also held the unified title.

  3. Raphael

    Keep in mind the possibility that the Netherlands, in a few games, could hold the triple whammy: UFWC, World Cup, and No1 FIFA/Coca Cola ranking. Surely something worth commemorating!

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