Visitors to the Unofficial Football World Championships forum will know that there is plenty of activity away from the main UFWC title, with scores of UFWC spin-off competitions being tracked involving club and national teams. There are a massive 28 spin-offs involving men’s and womens’ national teams. Here, in the first of two posts, Peter Waring reviews the last 12 months in the men’s national UFWC spin-off competitions.
Men’s world wooden sp00n. Macau took the sp00n in April 2009. After their first seven attempts to offload all ended in defeat, they finally beat Cambodia in February 2011. The Cambodians then lost three out of three. Then, on 29 June, Cambodia beat Laos 4-2 and briefly got rid of the unwanted title. Unfortunately for them, Cambodia lost the return fixture 6-2 and regained the wooden sp00n.
Men’s European championship. Greece became European champions with victory over Serbia last August, and have been unbeaten ever since. Amongst their eight successful title defences, the most impressive was a 0-0 draw with Croatia in Zagreb. Their next fixture is on 10th August in Bosnia.
Men’s European wooden sp00n. At the twentieth time of asking, and after a two and a half year tenure, Liechtenstein finally ridded themselves of the sp00n in February with a 1-0 win over fellow microstate San Marino. The Sammarinese have lost two out of two since; it is likely to be a very long time before they get rid of the sp00n – certainly, they won’t offload it in their next fixture, given that they travel to Holland on 2nd September.
Men’s South American championship. Since taking the title in October 2009, Peru have defended it only twice. Matches against Colombia and Ecuador both ended in draws. The title is currently being competed for at the Copa America in Argentina; Peru drew with Uruguay and beat Mexico. Their next match is against Chile on July 12.
Men’s South American wooden sp00n. Rather embarrassingly, Paraguay had been sp00ners since October 2009, despite being World Cup quarter-finalists last year. The problem was that they didn’t play a single South American team again until May 2011. They lost to Argentina (who thus avoided taking the sp00n – they have still not held it since 1909), but then beat Bolivia. Three days later, the sides met again, with a draw ensuring that Bolivia held on to the sp00n. At the Copa America, Bolivia drew with hosts Argentina and lost to Costa Rica and Colombia, being eliminated from the competition and retaining the wooden sp00n.
Men’s African championship. Egypt were champions, following their African Cup of Nations victory in early 2010. Sensationally, they were dispossessed in October by Niger, who then lost the following month (on penalties) to Libya. Despite major political problems, Libya’s football team have retained their unofficial African title through three successful defences. Their next is at home (or more probably on neutral territory) against Mozambique on 2nd September.
Men’s African wooden sp00n. Seychelles are still the holders, having not played since October 2009.
Men’s Asian championship. In October 2010, the Asian title changed hands three times in nine days, from Iran to Kuwait, to Bahrain and eventually to Uzbekistan. The Uzbeks took the title as far as the Asian Cup semi-finals, where they were routed 6-0 by Australia, who themselves lost to Japan in the final. The Asian title, as well as the world title, will be on the line when Japan play South Korea on 10th August.
Men’s Asian wooden sp00n. The Asian sp00n has run in parallel with the world sp00n since 1979, and still does. Cambodia are the holders.
Men’s Concacaf championship. Holders Mexico had not played Concacaf opposition from the end of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers in October 2009 until the Concacaf Gold Cup in June. Mexico defended their title against the United States on June 25th; it was their 100th win in a Concacaf title match. The only country in the world with more continental title match wins is Argentina (144 wins in South America). Next on the list are Brazil (92) and Scotland (85).
Men’s Concacaf wooden sp00n. Anguilla have held the sp00n since 2004, and still do, after four further failures to offload in the last 12 months. At least they managed a draw against the US Virgin Islands – the first time they have done so in over seven years. They were beaten 4-0 by the Dominican Republic in a World Cup qualifier on 8th July.
Men’s Oceanian championship. Holders Fiji have not been in action since 2008. However, they are scheduled to play at the Pacific Games (which double as 2014 World Cup qualifiers) in August 2011.
Men’s Oceanian wooden sp00n. Tonga have not played since 2009, but they too are due at the Pacific Games in August.
Tomorrow in part 2, Peter covers the women’s UFWC titles – and clears up recent confusion over the main WUFWC title. (We’re blaming the FA!).