Football football … boring boring

Well as Gibraltar isn’t in the World Cup, why would I be interested? In fact I can’t believe it is four years since Spain won in South Africa.

At the time, we had reverted to our frequent TV-less status, so we were invited next door to watch it with our Spanish neighbours. Partner accepted, but I stayed at home not wanting to ruin Spain’s chances.

And in the end, they won, thanks to me staying at home.

With that they became only one of eight countries to have won the World Cup.

And the other countries are:

Haha. You’ll have to look it up.

Quiz time!

1) This country has won five times and is the only one to have played in every World Cup

2) This country has won four times and, along with 1, is the only one to have won a consecutive title

3) This country won it three times and has made the most top four finishes

4) The inaugural host and also the winner of the first World Cup, went on to win another one

5) Hand of God, need I say more, they won twice

6) Won at home, probably their finest moment, their only win (they beat country 3)

7) Another home win and their only win, blasted their opponents, country 1

8) And back to the beginning, with the current title holders, who won for the first time in South Africa, the first time the World Cup was hosted in Africa

Brief history

The World Cup began in 1930, there have been 19 tournaments, held every four years. Due to WW2 there were no World Cups in 1942 and 1946.

However the world’s first recorded international match was between England and Scotland, held at Glasgow in 1872. It was a goalless draw.

In 1904 FIFA was formed, but international tournaments were slow to take off. In 1908 football was recognised at the Olympics and that year, hosted by London, England took gold. We haven’t always been crap at football because we took gold again at the next Olympics, held in Stockholm. Not even on home ground!

Meanwhile there was a strange event held in 1909 in Italy. Countries were invited to send a club to represent their nation. The English FA refused to join in, but West Auckland were invited to play by the organiser. West Auckland?!!

They won, and successfully defended their title two years later. According to wiki, the 1909 match had been described as the first World Cup. And won by West Auckland? I think that is a wicked stretch of the imagination. The team was probably full of miners who hammered the opposition into the ground. Hardly a World Cup.

England continued to be huffy regarding international football, withdrawing from FIFA from 1920 -1946 citing war issues, so they never played until 1950 when it was held in Brazil. At the time, host locations swapped between Europe and South America as they were the only two continents deemed capable of playing decent football. Yet, participation was limited in the first half of the 20th century due to a three week journey across the Atlantic. Something to think about for this year’s tournament in Brazil.

Gibraltar football

Gib won’t be there ie in Brazil as it has only just (2013) been granted membership of EUFA. Let alone FIFA. It’s only taken some 14 years. And why was that? No prizes for guessing this one. Spanish opposition. Apparently if Gib got accepted, those naughty nationalists in Catalunya and Pais Basco would want to play too. Clearly Spain does not recognise the difference between a British Overseas Territory and a Spanish autonomous community.

Spain threatened to exhaust all legal means, and shock! horror! to withdraw Real Madrid and Barca from European football. Bet that would go down well with the two clubs concerned.

Gib had to go to arbitration three times to finally get accepted into EUFA. While football means nothing to me, why shouldn’t Gib be in EUFA or FIFA just because Spain doesn’t want? Nasty bullies.

What does mean something, is the proposed new stadium. The current one doesn’t meet EUFA standards so we borrow one in the Algarve. Plans are to develop the ugliest stadium ever at Europa Point. I swear Gibraltarians have no conception of the beauty of the Rock. The link is well worth a look. Proposed stadium is ugly, unsightly and totally out of keeping and lacking in scale. Maybe Gib doesn’t have space for a EUFA stadium?

The iconic mosque at Europa - to be overthrown by the religion of football?
The iconic mosque at Europa – to be overthrown by the religion of football?

World Cup 2014

World Cup? I’ll be rooting for Ghana again. Loved their play last time, and the impromptu dances after their two goals by Boateng and Gyan against the USA were brilliant. As were their goals.

For anyone who is missing my health updates …

More after tomorrow’s return to hospital, assuming transport has been booked. Oh and physio. Another story.

68 comments on “Football football … boring boring

  1. Your title says it all!

    I’m very impressed with your football knowledge, you don’t strike me as someone who would take an interest in it.
    In my youth I did follow Leeds United, in fact I can still recite parrot fashion the team from those days, but I think it was more teenage crush rather than a love of the game though ;-)
    I think I can answer question 6….England?

    Living with a sports mad husband, I dare say I’ll be bored to my back teeth with the TV coverage, even though football is well down on his interest list.


    • It does, except, I quite enjoyed WC 2010!

      I have zilch knowledge. But wiki is a wonderful thing, and I became quite interested as I was reading up on it. Football per se, no, but history and facts and politics and I am hooked in.

      Your team might have been earlier than mine but mine started with Sprake. I can no longer recite the order but after him came Reaney, Madeley, Cooper, Bremner, Charlton, Hunter (Unter!yelled in loud Leeds accent) Mick someone, Clark, Giles, and to my shame I’ve forgotten a couple. I think my one trip to Elland Road may be chronicled on Clouds. Or here. Not sure.

      Good one :). One of only two that I could get right. A did far better.

      If I can find it on streaming for free or BBC I’ll prob watch selected matches.


  2. Hey! Hope u get well soon and with a bang. Been an English supporter till I warmed up to football and till 2010. Now, I am so tired with their football and shifted allegiance to Spain. The second team I shall root for is Brazil..wanna be in Brazil but due to unforeseen circumstances-job and all-plans crashed. Thanks for the football history.


    • Thanks Vishal. I feel like I’ve been horizontal and in plaster for like forever.

      Sometimes England can be good. I do like obnoxious Rooney. But consistency isn’t their strong point and you need 11 good players. Spain in 2010 deserved their win. Doubt they will keep their title.

      Brazil would be great for WC. Bit hectic maybe. Maybe you’ll get to Russia or Qatar.


  3. Football, forget it.I’d rather have a good book.
    Hope all goes well at the hospital tomorrow and you don’t have to wait hours for transport. I’m looking forward to hearing about the physio, that should be good.


  4. 6, I knew. I am 48, and immediately after, I could not walk in a straight line or say anything sensible.

    My lot always qualified and never got beyond the first round, until they stopped qualifying.

    I am really excited. I will be glued to the television. The word EN-GER-LAND will rarely be off my lips.


    • You must have been a babe in arms! :D hence not walking and talking.

      I do wonder if the UK played as a team eg Olympics, if they would do better. Still we will see. I do like Lampard and Gerrard.


  5. I shall be seeing more of female friends here during the blasted football – their husbands will be glued to the box as the Sele of Costa Rica is in the tournament again and busy getting its star players injured in the warm ups…
    Just as long as they don’t come during the Test Matches…

    Personal loans have boomed by 60% in the last quarter to buy tickets, flights, or, in the last resort, large screen televisions, so at current rates of interest at about 24% the effect of the World Cup will be felt in pockets for years to come.

    Good luck with the check up and physio….


    • Ah now cricket is dire. On a par with golf in boringosity.

      Somehow spending a fortune on a TV or a trip to Brazil plus inflated accommodation plus tickets doesn’t feature on my priority list.

      And having bought the iPad for my convalescence a TV has no chance.


      • I enjoy cricket and get quite put out if interrupted in the hours of Test Match Special….and I like rugby….but football leaves me cold as does golf.

        Still, I wouldn’t buy a Sky sub to watch live cricket….things have not gone so far as to tempt me to further the Evil Empire’s profits.


        • I think my father’s obsession with cricket put me off from an early age. Rugby is ok, prefer league but will watch either if it’s a good match. Had a season ticket for a local team when doing A levels. My father’s idea of giving me some relaxation/distraction from studying. I imagine he forced himself to come with me each Sunday …

          One of our neighbours has an illegal box to watch ITV. Takes me all my time to keep up to BBC so I don’t need another channel.


  6. What is being planned has all the charm and appeal of a brick. Trouble is, this particular brick is rather large and looming.
    They admit cheerfully to having chosen to bung this blot on a site described as having an ‘iconic situation’. This is a virtue? An eyesore in the foreground of a famous landmark, for the sake of swatting an orb around a field using feet and head?


  7. At least I know answer to number 5. The rest I may have to google or wait for the football fans to provide answers which is in fact easier for me


  8. I must admit I will probably fall asleep while watching due to the time it will be shown live, time difference, I think it will be about 11pm ish. I am not interested in replays once I know the results.. Brazil then Italy and Germany.. The Quatar in 2022 is under investigation for bribery, well I never, bent bastards [excuse language] in football as well. There was a documentary about West Auckland and it is down in football history as a world cup. The club still have the cup and day of remembrance, it is this info apparently that keeps alive…the cup is huge by the way, not gold like the one today.


    • That’s impressive Gerry. I didn’t know any of those until I started looking it up. Partner struggled with Italy. No one thinks of Italy as WC supremos – or do they?

      I’d forgotten about time difference, mind you as we wake up early, maybe catch something, dunno.

      How can it be under investigation for bribery in 2022? !! Construction?

      You obv do know your footie. Never heard of the West Auckland thing before today. But if they still have the cup, good on ’em.


      • Each and every venue/country put themselves forward to be considered, and usually a short list of four or five is reached,and then all FIFA countries vote. But there is alleged back handers to elect Quatar. I mean who the hell is Quatar. One guy [ex footballer] said recently, Brazil the people cannot afford to go to watch the matches, while at Quatar the public will have to be paid to attend.. one way or another they can only be successful if the stadiums are full. Quatar are oil not football… all the info that is being released certainly makes them look guilty, and if this is proved and they do a re-vote England could be in with a chance as well.


        • I’m a history person not a sporting one!

          But that’s a good story though (journalist hat on). I thought everything was rigged these days, plus the need to spread everything around eg hosting WC in Asia and Africa. Brazil this time, but then, Russia, and next Middle East.

          Revote? 2022? I’ll be pushing it and England’s team will have totally changed but given their Olympic performance, a hosted WC might get them somewhere. Wouldn’t put money on them this time. Always sad to see them go out though.


  9. No country has won 4 times, have they? Brazil, five times, but i think the next closest is three.

    Consider yourself lucky to be in the shadow of The Rock; things around here are going insane.


    • According to wiki they have. Depends how much wikan faith you have?

      Brazil does party on rather well does it not? my cousin lived there for years so we got the tales and photos of carnival and parties from time to time.

      I may watch it yet, if I can find free streaming. I do like a good goal. Preferably hands free.


      • Oh, the party will be fine. I have great confidence in this counties ability to live it up… at the expense of everything else.

        Sop, which country has won 4 times?


        • Sop? Italy. In succession early on and then a couple more recently. Partner was crap on that one too. Had to give him at least 60 clues, next to France, on the Mediterranean etc etc :D Doesn’t come to mind these days as a major WC winner. Interesting.

          Don’t you know parties are great for distracting the average person from the crap reality of incompetent government? Here in Spain, we just change the odd monarch.


  10. I was fortunate enough to be living in California in 1994, when the World Cup was being played in the US. I went to half a dozen preliminary games, then scored a ticket to the final – Brazil vs. Italy – in Los Angeles, Highlights: a) The game ended in a shootout, the ticket cost $600 (and that was face value), and I came home with a tattoo. The then-wife was none to happy about B or C. She couldn’t have cared less who won.

    I met many Brazilians who had travelled to Northern California to see their team play in the earlier rounds (the team was staying the next town over from mine) and I was struck by how many spoke English and spoke it fluently. Conversely, most of my friends couldn’t locate Brazil on a map to save their lives.


    • Sounds a bit like my lucky score for a ticket to a rugby match in Auckland between All Blacks and Australia. Luckily at cost price though which was not six hundred bucks. Good match, Kiwis won on home ground.

      I sympathise with then wife and tbh penalty shoot-outs do not make for good finals.

      Ssssh. You’ll confirm all those programmes that take the piss out of Americans for knowing stuff all about the rest of the world.

      I could get by in Brazil. Not fluent in Portugues but the Spanish is good enough and not difficult to brush up on the Port. Met someone once in Portugal who said, why learn Portugues, no-one else speaks it. Not strictly true given the colonialisation.

      But, most countries learn English as a second language. Few learn Portugues.


      • I’d love to see a big-time rugby match in Australia, or Australia, for that matter. Seems like a fascinating region.

        It would be nice if native US residents could pick up English as, say, a second language. Speaking it clearly and correctly is probably too much to ask. Between social media, advertising and television/movies, our version of English has morphed into something that makes a slack-jawed halfwit seem positively enlightened.


        • I did watch rugby in Sydney as well. We were near enough to walk to the ground.

          I have no issue with American English, your fenders and trunks and sidewalks, and your colorful spelling rather than colourful. What I can’t get to grips with is your use of the word of. eg, I look out the window, whereas we say you look out of the window. Drives me spare when I read it! And then you add of, where we wouldn’t eg get off of my arm. Weird.

          And don’t get me started on awesome.

          What I dislike though, a bit like your comment about morphed American, is when Brits use Americanisms as though it’s cool. We have a perfectly good and expressive language. Why lose its characteristics? You have yours, we have ours and we can understand each other. For the most part ;) I still say rooves not roofs because that’s what I learned at school. It may be archaic, but it’s not wrong so I shall continue to use it. My choice. Your point is that people are not sufficiently informed to make that choice.


  11. I am in awe of your restraint in not mentioning Sepp Blatter…or are you planning to give him his own post? His role as President of the World Society of Friends of Suspenders strikes me as being right up your street, even if his FIFA presidency doesn’t float your boat. “Our Seppi” as he is called in this semi-Swiss household, affords great entertainment as he runs rings around those trying to curb his dictatorship. One hopes he will soon get his comeuppance, but suspects he will probably die in office.


    • Who? Well, no I did look him up, but I guess you are more up on Swiss news than I am. I struggle keeping up with Gib and Spain, let alone UK. If you point me to any comments about Gib, I may let him grace my pages, although maybe not.


  12. Okay..that’s enough restraint.
    I love football and will be glued to the telly. Oddly enough, I have only ever attended one live match and did not enjoy it. But I am a couch addict.

    I forced myself to stop being so nuts for quite some time – I got physically sick once watching England play Belgium and they won in the dying seconds after David Platt scored a marvelous goal.

    After that I kept away for ages, on purpose, because the stress did me in. But for some reason I have got caught up it in again and fully expect my blood pressure to go haywire! But it will be bliss.
    My loyalties are torn. I drew the Netherlands in a sweepstakes my kids organised, and I have always had a soft spot for the Dutch since the days of Johann Cruijff, Johnny Repp and René van de Kerkhof

    Thoroughly enjoyed the post. Shame about the Gib stadium. Surely there must be some superb architectural examples? Look at the stadium in Durban. Beautiful and only cost 4 billion.


    • Restraint? Have I been restraining you? How? Do tell.

      I’ve therefore been to twice as many matches as you, and missed out on a third because it was a sell out. Or at least the queues were so long that my dad and his mate wouldn’t wait.

      Drinking water is good for blood pressure I learned on my recent hospitalcation.

      Interesting The Ns have never won, they’ve reached the final four enough times. I remember Cruyff too.

      Thanks. I like to ring the changes as long as I can add a local flavour however tangential. I think the issue about Gib is scale, Durban, I imagine, wd be slightly bigger. That’s why this looks so out of place. Especially in a beautiful area, with outstanding views. The stadium would ruin it. And there certainly won’t be enough parking. Total nightmare scenario.


  13. If it wasn’t you, I wouldn’t have even looked at this post. Being you, I skimmed through it. Not a sports fan. I don’t mind the odd game and learning about a local team winning, but that’s about it.

    What I really popped over for was to say, Hope all goes well at the hospital for you today… see, I remembered. :) Take care. Abrazos.


  14. What I know about football,I could write on a postage stamp, and have space left over. Can’t think why it’s called “The beautiful game.” The proposed stadium looks like a giant warehouse. :( What an eyesore it’s going to be. The mosque looks so pretty there, in the shadow of The Rock.


    • Well I know stuff all too, I’ve been to two games, but have watched some matches on TV. I do enjoy good fast attacking play and cracking goals. But I can go years without watching it. In theory !!?? with the World Cup, you *should* get decent play …

      Isn’t the proposed stadium horrific? I suspect this may be a political move as much as anything else. The previous govt started work on making Europa Point into a tourist attraction, this one stopped the work, and now we have a different proposal. The mosque looks beautiful. The new stadium looks ugly. It’s only going to hold 8000 people anyway. The Algarve stadium that Gib currently borrows holds 30000.


  15. Congratulations on Gib’s entrance into EUFA! I hadn’t heard about that. Hopefully you do well and annoy SPain. ;-)


  16. Well I found myself watching today’s match (ok I had to be stuck around home anyway nursing a sick cat) but in recent years I have found more things I like about this football and less things I like or care about American pro sports of any kind.


    • Football is ok in small doses. It’s the fanatical supporting of local teams that bores me rigid. Monday mornings in my office were a nightmare if Newcastle had lost at the weekend. Not much better when they won. In either case productivity was zilch.

      I think World Cup can be interesting but I can’t find live free streaming anywhere.


  17. Europe’s craze with IFA, is like Canadan’s craze with National Hockey League games. When we cycle-toured in Europe 4 yrs. ago, it was rather interesting for us to see how this craze translated in some major cities in Germany, France, Czech Republic and Denmark.


  18. You know a sport is a NATIONAL sport, when local girls and women start playing in leagues in increasing numbers…and hockey is slowly becomer bigger as something girls and women participate in leagues. My niece started playing ice hockey when she was 9 yrs. old..


    • It’s a national sport when men play though. Women have been playing hockey in the UK for years and our school always had an annual trip to Wembley for the finals – no or hardly any mention of it in the media.

      Ice hockey at nine? That is one evil game, so fast. She must be tough.


  19. 4 years already? Back then everyone in the office was like WIKI with all the trivia…lots of smiling and pretending to know all the teams from me.
    All that struggling for GIB to be accepted into the game? Sounds like one of those mean girls at school films.
    Sigh, ugly stadiums. Whyyyy?


    • Haha. I think the history is interesting and how the politics has always been there. Bit like in health. As for Gib, I mean silly to take so long. When they finally voted this last time there were too no votes. The obvious one – Spain – and a Russian state I think. Maybe one beginning with B. No idea what that was about. Looking for an ally if they want to oppose a nearby neighbour joining EUFA? Who knows.

      Any new stadium in Gib is going to look ugly because of the size and that’s the main problem. It’s all about scale. For example, the stadium in Portugal that Gib currently uses for EUFA matches seats 30,000 people. That’s the total population of Gib!


  20. Hmmm, can’t answer any of those questions, and only due to media saturation do I even know there is World Cup soccer being played in Brazil. Football to me is rugby league, at a pinch rugby union. Which means I am at least not suffering from sleep deprivation from watching TV sport on the other side of the world.


    • Aussie Rules? I never watched that in Aus, only rugby league. I think it was league.

      I think right now I may have more spare time than you, so not quite so difficult to catch up with recorded matches. In fact I’m just listening to them right now via Partner watching them.


          • We follow the rugby league team South Sydney aka the Rabbitohs, affectionately nicknamed the Bunnies or the Rabbits… but the NRL team names are, for the old clubs at least, traditional rather than new-fangled.j


          • I think that’s quite nice. The old names I mean. Soccer clubs here have always had nicknames eg Newcastle play in black and white, so Magpies, but it’s not part of their name.


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