Ahead of the Scotland versus Netherlands title match on Wednesday (9 September) we’re taking a look back at Scotland’s UFWC history. You can also read the Netherlands UFWC history.
Scotland have won more UFWC title matches than any other nation, and can therefore claim to be the all-time UFWC champions.
The Scots’ history in the tournament goes right back to the very first UFWC title match in 1872. The opponents were England, and the score was 0-0. In the rematch a year later, England won to become the first UFWC champions. But, in 1874, Scotland defeated England 2-1 to take the title for the first of many times.
For almost 60 years, the UFWC title was passed between Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland (latterly Northern Ireland). Then, in 1931, Scotland travelled to Vienna and were thrashed 5-0 by Austria. For the first time the UFWC title left the British Isles. But it would return, and Scotland continued to win the title with regularity.
In 1938, Scotland beat the Netherlands 3-1 in Amsterdam to retain the UFWC title (read a full account of this match tomorrow). However, despite holding the unofficial title, Scotland were not involved in the 1938 World Cup finals, a disorganised shambles in France that eventually saw Italy emerge as official champions.
Scotland lost the title to England in 1939, and so ended the Scots’ dominance of the UFWC competition. They briefly regained the title from England in 1949, but then went 18 full years without even contesting the UFWC.
Then, in 1967, Scotland played undisputed official and unofficial football world champions England at Wembley. Scotland famously won 3-2, in a game that did much to prompt the creation of an unofficial championship.
Scotland lost the next match to the USSR, and embarked on a long 40-year spell in the UFWC wilderness.
In March, Scotland took on the Netherlands and lost 3-0. Can they improve on that result on Wednesday?