Welcome to the Unofficial Football World Championships Forum, the place to discuss UFWC spin-offs, and the UFWC in general. You can find more information on the main www.ufwc.co.uk website, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
The current holders of the two most prestigious titles - the World title and the European title - are both on potentially record-breaking runs.
World champions Japan have now successfully defended their title 14 times. Only Germany (15 defences, 1996-98), Scotland (20 defences, 1880-88) and the Netherlands (21 defences, 2008-10) now stand above them in the all-time list. The Japanese have held the title since beating Argentina on 8 October 2010.
Meanwhile, European champions Greece have now successfully defended their title 13 times. Only England (14 defences, 1891-96), Scotland (20 defences, 1880-88) and West Germany (34 defences, 1978-82) now stand above them in the all-time list. There is, therefore, obviously a long way to go to reach the top of the list, but they are on the verge of the top three - a fine achievement. The Greeks have held the title since beating Serbia on 11 August 2010.
Incidentally, the longest runs in both categories ended with defeat for the holders in the World Cup Final. The Netherlands' record run as UFWC holders ended with defeat to Spain in the 2010 WC final, whilst West Germany's epic run as unofficial European champs ended with defeat to Italy in the 1982 WC final.
Japan's next two fixtures come in November - away to Tajikistan, and away to North Korea. Greece are not due in action again until 29 February, with a friendly at home to the Czech Republic.
Last Edit: Oct 16, 2011 17:51:23 GMT by petewaring
Both the long runs mentioned in the previous post ended on Tuesday. Japan lost to North Korea after 15 successful defences - putting their run joint third in the all-time UFWC list.
Greece lost to Romania after 14 successful defences (their 14th was last Friday against Russia). That run also put them in joint third place in the all-time European list.
As for Japan, it also ends an all-time record run as simultaneous UFWC champions for both men and women. They held both titles together between 17th July and 15th November 2011 - the longest such run in history, both in terms of days and successful defences. The complete list of "double" champions is as follows:
1974 Holland 1 defence (men); 20 days 1975 England 6 defences (1 women, 5 men); 95 days 1989 Sweden 2 defences (1 women, 1 men); 38 days 1991 Holland 1 defence (men); 15 days 1992 United States 1 defence (men); 10 days 1997 Germany 1 defence (men); 3 days 1998 (Mar-Apr) Brazil 0 defences; 35 days 1998 (July) Brazil 0 defences; 5 days 2007 Italy 0 defences; 9 days 2011 Japan 11 defences (6 men, 5 women); 121 days
England's records, which have lasted for 36 years, have thus both been shattered. Many congratulations go to Greece for their great European run, but especially to Japan, who, despite such a difficult year for their nation as a whole, have made 2011 a record-breaking year on the football field!
Updates since 2011-09-07 [glow=black,2,300]Males[/glow] World 2011-10-07 Japan 1-0 Vietnam 2011-10-11 Japan 8-0 Tajikistan 2011-11-11 Tajikistan 0-4 Japan 2011-11-15 Korea DPR 1-0 Japan WS: Cambodia, no games UEFA 2011-10-07 Greece 2-0 Croatia 2011-10-11 Georgia 1-2 Greece 2011-11-11 Greece 1-1 Russia 2011-11-15 Romania 3-1 Greece WS: 2011-10-11 Moldova 4-0 San Marino CONMEBOL 2011-10-07 Uruguay 4-2 Bolivia 2011-10-11 Paraguay 1-1 Uruguay 2011-11-11 Uruguay 4-0 Chile WS: 2011-10-07 Uruguay 4-2 Bolivia 2011-10-11 Bolivia 1-2 Colombia 2011-11-11 Argentina 1-1 Bolivia 2011-11-15 Venezuela 1-0 Bolivia CONCACAF C: Mexico, no games WS: Anguilla, no games CAfF 2011-10-07 Zambia 0-0 Libya WS: 2011-10-08 Mozambique 3-0 Comoros 2011-11-11 Comoros 0-1 Mozambique 2011-11-15 Mozambique 4-1 Comoros AsFC Same as World, both C Korea DPR and WS Cambodia OFC 2011-09-07 Fiji 1-2 AET Solomons 2011-09-09 New Caledonia 2-0 Solomons WS: 2011-11-22 American Samoa 2-1 Tonga 2011-11-24 Samoa 1-1 Tonga 2011-11-26 Tonga 2-1 Cook Islands [glow=orange,2,300]Females[/glow] World 2011-09-08 Korea DPR 1-1 Japan 2011-09-11 Japan 1-0 China PR WS: 2011-11-24 Malta 3-1 Luxembourg UEFA 2011-09-17 Germany 4-1 Switzerland 2011-10-22 Romania 0-3 Germany 2011-10-26 Germany 1-0 Sweden 2011-11-19 Germany 17-0 Kazakhstan THAT WAS CLOSE 2011-11-24 Spain 2-2 Germany WS: 2011-11-24 Malta 3-1 Luxembourg CONMEBOL C: Ecuador, no games WS: Peru, no games CONCACAF 2011-09-17 USA 1-1 Canada 2011-09-22 USA 3-0 Canada WS: Turks & Caicos, no games CAfF 2011-09-08 Zimbabwe 1-2 Ghana 2011-09-14 Ghana 3-0 Algeria 2011-09-17 Cameroon 1-0 Ghana 2011-10-22 Cameroon 2-1 Nigeria WS: Guinea-Bissau, no games AsFC C: same as World, Japan WS: Guam, no games OFC C: New Zealand, no games WS: American Samoa, no games
At some point in the next few weeks, I will post an annual update for all 28 competitions, so keep an eye out for that.
In the meantime, just to mention that unfortunately it appears confirmed that the men's unofficial European championship will not be contested at the real thing in Poland and Ukraine this summer. The current holders are Romania, who have not qualified. Their two opponents in summer friendlies, Switzerland and Austria, haven't either. Neither of those teams have any subsequent fixtures until next season.
As promised on this thread a few weeks ago, here is the annual review of the last 12 months in all 28 competitions. It has been a fascinating year, full of remarkable stories from around the footballing world.
Men’s world championship. Japan’s stunning run as world champions, taking in 15 successful defences, has been well documented on these pages. However, they fielded an under-strength line-up in a World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang, having already made it through to the next stage of World Cup qualifying, and duly lost 1-0 to the already eliminated North Koreans. This took the UFWC into truly uncharted waters, but the North Koreans have been impressive so far. They have now managed seven successful defences, including one friendly so scarcely-reported that it still appears impossible to find out who scored the North Korean goal, as well as one World Cup qualifier and five games in the AFC Challenge Cup (a tournament they won). Next up is an October friendly against Iran - a fixture that will not be looked upon fondly by political leaders in the Western world.
Men’s world wooden sp00n. Last July, Cambodia offloaded the wooden sp00n with a 4-2 home win over Laos in a World Cup qualifier. Sadly for them, they lost the return leg 6-2 just four days later, and they have been unchallenged holders of the sp00n ever since. However, as recently pointed out by maraigue on this thread, they will participate in the AFF Suzuki Cup in October. With four fixtures scheduled, they will be hopeful of disowning the sp00n at some point in the tournament.
Men’s European championship. Greece’s magnificent run as European champions ended in November 2011 after 14 successful defences, when they lost 3-1 at home to Romania. Romania then kept the title unchallenged for six months, before defending it against Switzerland and Austria. The title bypassed Euro 2012. Indeed, not since Germany were beaten by Serbia in the 2010 World Cup have any of the major European nations even played a title match. Romania’s next defence will be away to Slovenia in August.
Men’s European wooden sp00n. I said last year that San Marino would hold the European sp00n for a long time; I wasn’t exactly sticking my neck out, and nothing has happened in the meantime to make me reconsider. They have played only four matches in the last year, but have lost all of them, scoring no goals and conceding 21. In August, they have about as good a chance as they could have of claiming a win – they play at home to Malta – but even Malta are unlikely to lose to San Marino.
Men’s South American championship. Last summer’s Copa America saw the title change hands no fewer than four times in 12 days. Peru entered the tournament as holders, drawing their first game and winning their second (although that was against guest nation Mexico, so didn’t count). However, they lost their final group game to Chile, who lost their quarter-final to Venezuela. The Venezuelans lost their semi-final on penalties to Paraguay, who were then thrashed 3-0 in the final by the impressive Uruguay. Having remained unbeaten through their first five World Cup qualifiers, Uruguay are still champions; they travel to Colombia in September.
Men’s South American wooden sp00n. Bolivia entered the 2011 Copa America as South American wooden sp00ners. Nine days later, they were off home, still with the sp00n, having failed to win a game at the tournament. Two friendlies and five World Cup qualifiers came and went without joy, too, before finally they won World Cup qualifier number six, at home to Paraguay, who regain the sp00n that they had offloaded only a year earlier. A particularly heavyweight sp00n clash is coming in September, as Paraguay take on Argentina – remember, both teams were World Cup quarter-finalists just two years ago.
Men’s African championship. Champions a year ago, Libya took their hold on the title to five successful defences, before losing a friendly to the Ivory Coast just before the start of the 2012 African Cup of Nations. The Ivory Coast were strong favourites to win the tournament, and sauntered through to the final without conceding a goal. They didn’t concede one in the final, either. They did, though, lose 8-7 on penalties, following a 0-0 draw. Didier Drogba missed a penalty in normal time, and both Kolo Toure and Gervinho missed in the shoot-out, as unheralded Zambia became champions of Africa, both official and unofficial. Zambia, though, only managed one defence (a draw in a friendly) before losing their first competitive game since the Cup of Nations, a World Cup qualifier in Sudan. Sudan (who last held the title as recently as 2009) then drew with Lesotho, and play Ethiopia in September.
Men’s African wooden sp00n. After two years without a match, the Seychelles returned to action in August 2011 at the Indian Ocean Island Games. They won their second match, against Mauritius, who beat Comoros in their very next game. Comoros have since played two African Cup of Nations qualifiers, and two World Cup qualifiers, all without success. They have no further fixtures booked at present.
Men’s Asian championship. The Asian championship has mirrored the UFWC ever since Japan became simultaneous holders of both in January 2011, so North Korea are the current holders.
Men’s Asian wooden sp00n. The Asian sp00n has run in parallel with the world sp00n since 1979, and still does. Cambodia are the current holders.
Men’s Concacaf championship. Just hours after I posted last years’ report, holders Mexico took on the United States in the Concacaf Gold Cup final in Pasadena. The unfancied Americans took a surprise 2-0 lead, but Mexico proved too good in the end, winning 4-2, including one particularly stunning goal by Giovanni dos Santos. They have since defended their title three more times, and face the United States yet again in August, this time in Mexico City.
Men’s Concacaf wooden sp00n. Anguilla, holders since 2004, lost home and away to the Dominican Republic in last summer’s World Cup qualifiers, then had 12 months without a match before losing a friendly to the British Virgin Islands last week. They have no further fixtures scheduled.
Men’s Oceanian championship. After more than two and a half years of inactivity, Fiji finally defended their title in July 2011. They soon lost it to Vanuatu, with New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia (again) following in quick succession as holders. New Caledonia thus entered this summer’s OFC Nations Cup as holders, but lost in their second game to Tahiti. Tahiti then made it through to the final, where they expected to face New Zealand. However, the All Whites suffered an unbelievable defeat to New Caledonia in the semis, so instead it was a Tahiti-New Caledonia rematch. The outcome was the same, with Tahiti holding onto the honours (and thus claiming a place on the global stage, in the 2013 Confederations Cup). The next stage of World Cup qualifying commences for Tahiti in September with a tie against the Solomon Islands. Five different teams have now held the title since New Zealand were last champions back in 2008 – how much longer can the minnows prosper?
Men’s Oceanian wooden sp00n. Like Fiji, Tonga were out of action for two and a half years. However, they returned in November 2011 to compete in World Cup qualifying, where, despite falling at the first hurdle, they managed to offload the sp00n to the Cook Islands, who have not played since.
Women’s world championship. Last summer’s Women’s World Cup saw Australia enter as WUFWC holders. They lost to Brazil in their first match. Brazil then lost to the United States in the quarter-finals, before the US fell victim to the amazing Japanese in the final (on penalties). Japan thus embarked on a record-smashing run as dual world champions (men and women) – see previous posts for full details. Finally, in March 2012, they lost 4-3 to Germany in Faro. It was a small measure of revenge for Germany, who had been eliminated from their own World Cup in the quarter-finals by Japan. That defeat also meant that, with France and Sweden both reaching the semi-finals, it was they (with hosts Great Britain) who took Europe’s three places in the 2012 Olympics, and the Germans miss out. With Germany having held on to the WUFWC with consummate ease since March, it means the unofficial title misses out on the Olympics too.
Women’s world wooden sp00n. Holders Luxembourg have played just twice in the last year. Both were against Malta, and Luxembourg lost both times. No further fixtures are scheduled.
Women’s European championship. Germany have been holders ever since winning Euro 2009, and have now had 18 successful defences (17 wins and a draw). Their next defence, as with the World title, is against Kazakhstan in September. In the last meeting of the sides, in November 2011, the Germans won 17-0.
Women’s European wooden sp00n. As always, the European wooden sp00n is still running in parallel with the world sp00n. Luxembourg are still the holders.
Women’s South American championship. Ecuador took the title in November 2010, and have not played since.
Women’s South American wooden sp00n. Long-time holders Peru have not played since November 2010.
Women’s African championship. Ghana lost their title to Cameroon last September. Cameroon have defended it three times since, twice against Ghana themselves. They have no further matches scheduled (unless they face South Africa in London 2012, which is highly unlikely).
Women’s African wooden sp00n. Guinea-Bissau took the sp00n in 2006, and have not played since.
Women’s Asian championship. Between July and November last year, Japan held all four available titles – men’s World, women’s World, men’s Asian and women’s Asian – simultaneously. They have now lost three of those, but still hold the women’s Asian title, with six successful defences in the last 12 months. They have no fixtures scheduled, but could conceivably face North Korea at some point during London 2012.
Women’s Asian wooden sp00n. Guam have held the sp00n since 2001, but haven’t played since 2009. However, they do now have a single fixture scheduled – against Hong Kong in Yona next week.
Women’s Concacaf championship. Eight more successful defences for the Americans, who breezed through the Olympic qualifying tournament with ridiculous ease. They could face Canada again in London.
Women’s Concacaf wooden sp00n. Turks and Caicos took the sp00n in 2006; their last match was in March 2010.
Women’s Oceanian championship. New Zealand’s hold on the title is still entirely unthreatened. Just two matches in the last year – wins over Papua New Guinea of 8-0 and 7-0.
Women’s Oceanian wooden sp00n. After a four-year hiatus, American Samoa returned to action last September at the Pacific Games, but lost all four games, conceding 23 goals and scoring none.
Current holders (men’s title/ men’s sp00n----- women’s title/ women’s sp00n):
World: North Korea Cambodia----- Germany Luxembourg Europe: Romania San Marino----- Germany Luxembourg South America: Uruguay Paraguay -----Ecuador Peru Africa: Sudan Comoros -----Cameroon Guinea-Bissau Asia: North Korea Cambodia----- Japan Guam CONCACAF: Mexico Anguilla----- United States Turks & Caicos Islands Oceania: Tahiti Cook Islands----- New Zealand American Samoa
Last Edit: Jul 14, 2012 12:22:24 GMT by petewaring
Jamaica are now the concacaf champions after beating the usa 2-1 in kingston last friday the us beat mexico in a friendly in august to claim the crown the us will get a chance to win the championship back immediately this Tuesday
solomon islands are now the ofc champions after beating tahiti 2-0 the solomon islands net game is against the powerhouse of ofc everyone will expect a new zealand but new zealand have lost to these island teams before
Sudan's CAF-championship-claiming win over Zambia has been ruled a forfeit, 3-0 in favor of Zambia, by FIFA. We need a ruling on this. If the result on the pitch stands, then the title goes Zambia-Sudan-Libya-Algeria and the next match is a Libya-Algeria rematch on October 14th. If the FIFA ruling is used, and Zambia won against Sudan, the path goes Zambia-Malawi-Liberia-Niger, and Niger's next match is on October 13th against Guinea.
In my opinion, the FIFA ruling should be respected (we use their determinations as to whether or not a match was an 'A' match, so why can't they rule on forfeits and such as well?), and as such, Zambia won their match against Sudan, 3-0, meaning Niger, and not Algeria, are the current champions of Africa.
Well spotted! I think we need to go with the FIFA results database in all cases. At the moment, it is still showing a 2-0 win for Sudan over Zambia so, for the moment, I will stick with that, so that Algeria are indeed the current champions. Presumably at some point they might alter this on their database. If they do, then I will change the African title history accordingly.
I think this is the best thing to do in terms of consistency. Otherwise we would need to know the specific details of every match going back to the 19th century - who's to say there weren't ineligible players being fielded in some of them? We will never know all the facts about every match, so I think we should stick to the FIFA database.
Last Edit: Oct 20, 2012 15:03:49 GMT by petewaring
As mentioned on the UFWC website, North Korea look like they could hold the title for a long time to come. There is currently no sign of them organising friendlies against any footballing powerhouses, and therefore their title may not come under real jeopardy until the Asian Cup of 2015.
By that time, they may have racked up a few more wins against some Asian minnows, and turn their reign as unofficial world champions into a record-breaking one. Their run of 12 successful defences already puts them in the top 10 reigns of all time. Another three defences would put them into the top 5. The all-time record is 21 (Holland 2008-10).
Pak Nam-Chol I (born 1985, and not to be confused with Pak-Nam Chol II, another current North Korean international who is three years his namesake's junior) now has seven UFWC goals to his name. Another three would see him enter the all-time top goalscorers list (http://www.ufwc.co.uk/2010/07/ufwc-top-goalscorers-2010-update/). He plays club football in Thailand.