European Cup | Why do England, Scotland and Wales play separately if they all belong to England?

Being older than FIFA itself and laying the foundations of the sport being played has its advantages. Among them, namely being able to compete with different teams. In order to understand why England, Wales and Scotland will attend the next European Championship with different national teams, it is sufficient to understand, first, that England is a nation made up of four nations. As such, his case cannot be compared, for example, to a Spanish regional team, which has not been recognized by UEFA or FIFA despite Basque requests at the end of last year.

In the case of the three England teams, to which Northern Ireland should add, which have not yet made it through, the territorial situation is quite different, but that is not the only reason why they can compete independently. After football was discovered there, international matches were also found, as Scotland and England starred in the first national team clash in history. That was almost 150 years ago, on November 30, 1872 in Glasgow. Four years later, the Wales team was born, and, a decade later, the island of Ireland, which at that time, and until 40 years later the Northern Ireland team split, competed together.

However, it was not until 1904, 32 years after the birth of international football, that when Spain, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland came together to create FIFA. Two years later, Wales, England and Scotland joined the project, and the long history of rivalry between the regions made it unimaginable. The real British joint team only competed like that at the 2012 London Olympics.

Matt Thompson

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