Answering your questions

What is the UFWC?

The UFWC is an exciting international football competition contested in a simple boxing-style title system. Winners of title matches become title holders, and move up the rankings.

What was the first UFWC match?

UFWC history dates back to 1872, 58 years before the World Cup. The very first international football match was played between Scotland and England on 30 November 1872. The score was a rather unexciting 0-0. On 8 March 1873, England and Scotland played again. England won 4-2, and became the very first Unofficial Football World Champions.

When was the UFWC formed?

If the UFWC’s historical roots can be traced back to 1872, the foundation of the UFWC as an organisation began in 2003 with the creation of this website. The idea of an unofficial championships had been around for some time, at least since 1967 when, after beating official champions England 3-2 at Wembley, the Tartan Army claimed that Scotland were Unofficial Football World Champions. In 2003, we sifted through all of the various stats and arguments, and put together the definitive record of the Unofficial Football World Championships.

Who created the UFWC?

The UFWC was created and is owned by freelance journalist and author Paul Brown. He wrote the original Unofficial Football World Champions article in FourFourTwo magazine in 2003, created this website, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book.

What is a UFWC title match?

A UFWC title match is any FIFA accredited International ‘A’ match involving the current UFWC title holder. According to FIFA: ‘An International ‘A’ match shall be a match that has been arranged between two National A Associations affiliated to the Federation and for which both Associations field their first national representative team.’ This includes most friendly matches. The UFWC usually counts every match listed on the FIFA.com fixture list, although not every match that meets the definition of an ‘A’ match is included on the fixture list.

How does a team become UFWC champions?

The winner of any UFWC title match is declared the current UFWC title holder and champions.

Do friendly matches count in the UFWC?

Yes, if they are FIFA accredited International ‘A’ matches.

Do extra time and penalty shoot-outs count in the UFWC?

Yes, when they are used to determine the outcome of an individual match.

Do two-legged ties and aggregate scores count?

Each individual FIFA ‘A’ match counts as one UFWC title match, regardless of whether it is part of a two-legged tie or any other arrangement. Individual match results count, not aggregate scores.

How do the UFWC rankings work?

UFWC rankings are calculated via a simple points system. Teams are awarded one ranking point for winning a UFWC title match, either as holder or challenger. No points are awarded for drawing a title match. If two or more teams have equal ranking points they share that rank, and are listed alphabetically in the ranking table.

Why have the rankings of certain teams been combined?

The rankings for Germany and West Germany, Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia, Northern Ireland and Ireland, Russia and USSR, and Serbia and Yugoslavia have been combined because historically these countries have played international football under different names, and are recognised as doing so by FIFA. East Germany never won the UFWC title, so have no ranking points to combine with a united Germany. In 1993 Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, however Slovakia have never won the UFWC title. The international football team known until 1920 as Ireland represented Northern Ireland rather than the Republic of Ireland. The USSR split into several nations, but FIFA class Russia as a continuation of the USSR for records purposes.

Does the UFWC have a trophy?

Yes, the UFWC has the CW Alcock Trophy.

Does the UFWC have a mascot?

Yes, Hughie the dinosaur.

Scotland?! All-time champions?! Are you mad / biased?

According to the UFWC rankings table, Scotland are unofficially the best team in the world. Scotland top the rankings table, ahead of second-placed England. It’s clear that both nations are so highly ranked because of their dominance of international football in the years that preceded the first World Cup. Detractors say this isn’t fair, as other nations weren’t around to challenge for the title in football’s formative years. But a key attribute of the UFWC is that its lineage goes right back to the very beginning of international football. Other nations came late to the table, after Scotland and England had already begun feasting on the beautiful game. So Scotland top the rankings on merit, despite the protestations of rival fans. (And none of the UFWC originators are Scottish!)

Who would win a club version of the UFWC?

We currently have no idea, but UFWC fans are working on it! It’s a massive job given the long history of club football and the number of club football matches played every season, but keep an eye on the forum to follow progress.

Is the UFWC an official football competition?

The UNOFFICIAL Football World Championships is not affiliated with FIFA, UEFA, the FA, or any governing continental or national football body, nor any individual club or player.

Do FIFA have any objections to the UFWC?

A statement from the FIFA Media Department: ‘As long as people have fun with football and that it is played in the spirit of respect for all involved, the non-violation of the Laws of the Game and the ethics of sport, FIFA is more than happy! We wish the UFWC fans a lot of fun!’

Can I advertise on the UFWC website?

Exclusive, value for money advertising is available. Please see the Advertising and Sponsorship page.

Can I sponsor the UFWC?

Yes, you might not be able to sponsor the World Cup or the European Championships, but you can sponsor the Unofficial Football World Championships. Much more than a website, the UFWC is an increasingly popular international football competition with worldwide coverage and appeal. Get more details via the Advertising and Sponsorship page.

Can I write for the UFWC website?

We’re always happy to hear from talented and enthusiastic people who’d like to contribute to the site. For more information see our Writers page.

Can I reproduce UFWC results or statistics?

Relevant UFWC stats and news may be reproduced on websites and in other media, subject to fair use consideration, where the source is clearly attributed, along with the website URL www.ufwc.co.uk.

Where can I get the UFWC book?

The official UFWC book, The Unofficial Football World Champions by Paul Brown, is available from good book shops, including Amazon. Get more information here.

How can I sign up for the UFWC newsletter?

Just enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page to receive free UFWC updates.

How can I interact with other UFWC fans?

Find them at the UFWC Facebook page, via the #ufwc hashtag on Twitter, or visit the UFWC message board.

How can I contact the UFWC?

For general enquires and requests for information about the UFWC please see the contact page. Please post statistical queries or questions on the UFWC forum.