Who Plays For The United Kingdom Football Team?

There’s a big and rather embarrassing mistake in the latest Newsweek magazine edition of 21st June.

St. Georges Cross – the National Flag of England

Some Americans seem to have trouble knowing the difference between the UK, England and Britain.

In the Newsweek magazine edition of 21st June, the magazine lists the countries who have the largest percentage of TV viewers who watch the World Cup – and they list the UK in 14th place, which seems fairly low to us.

Uruguay are listed first, Italy second, Croatia third, Germany 4th and Holland in 5th place.

They have the United Kingdom emblazoned on the back of what looks like an England white shirt, representing the UK in 14th place?

But there is no United Kingdom Football team.

The UK is composed of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and they each have their own football teams, and only England made it to the World Cup Finals.

But the Americans in the press over here, have continually talked about the US facing the Brits in that first game, and now a rather embarrassing error in Newsweek.

We also had an interesting interview with one older American in NYC  on CNN, who said the rest of the world must be mad to support “soccer” because it’s such an unnatural game that you cannot even handle the ball.

He was looking forward to the real football starting soon – meaning American Football presumably.

Who’s going to tell him that’s why the beautiful game is called football – and of course it was invented in England – where else? 😀

Comments welcome.

18 comments so far

  • macn0ble (Finland)

    Jun 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #1

    The first time I visited North East England a guy asked me in a pub that is Finland still part of Russia.. So there is not much to say about the education of the English either..

  • jackdnufc

    Jun 21, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #2

    macnoble- I agree that all countries, and especially brits can have a torrid time telling any country apart geographically but Americans are especially awful, its not even taught at schools whatsoever! To be fair, I know many Brits who struggle with the distinctions between he UK, Great Britain, Britain, and the individual countries that make the state of the UK.

    However I contend the stat that Uruguay watch the most world cup action as they only have a population of c. 3.5 million and for them to come top seems very unlikely. It may be true but it would take close to their whole population to stop and watch every time on individual tv sets for that to ring true.

  • batty

    Jun 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #3

    what a load of b0llocks

  • G

    Jun 21, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #4

    I can remember visiting the states several years ago, where one elderly gentleman I spoke to seemed to think that middle class Richard Curtis brittain was the only place that existed, and we go to weddings every weekend in Scottish castles. He also seemed amazed that I didn’t live in either a thatched cottage, or a medeival castle. I must say that most of the bods I spoke to over there were very insular, and had no idea what goes on outside of it’s own borders, however, I would echo what was said in posts 1 and 2 that the education system over here is no better. I wouldn’t have a clue where most countries were unless we had played one of thier teams in Europe!
    P.S. Ed, you could explain to the chap of CNN that football is a game played with a ball and a foot. The game they play in the colony, is a game played with the hand, and an egg… handegg.

  • macn0ble (Finland)

    Jun 21, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #5

    jackdnufc-Agree with you with the yanks, and for the record I think most of the people in North East has been nice and friendly for me while vistiting Newcastle over the years.

  • jackdnufc

    Jun 21, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #6

    Glad to hear the latter part macnoble!

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Jun 21, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #7

    In fairness, hasn’t Finland spent periods as part of Russia? In terms of being an independent nation it’s relatively young… Still, people really ought to know that Finland is a country in its own right!

    As for our North American cousins, you should have a look around the internet for young Justin Bieber’s interview in Australia, when told what his name meant in German.

    In short, he told the interviewer that he didn’t have a clue what the word “German” meant and that they “don’t have it” over in the US/Canada.

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Jun 21, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #9

    …and just to show that I easily make mistakes, I should point out that the interview was in New Zealand, not Australia!

  • Amsterdam

    Jun 21, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #11

    like how most UK’ers think that Holland is the name of the Netherlands

  • cupiddstunt

    Jun 21, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #12

    Errr who or what is “Justin Bieber”

    And as for the “older American in NYC on CNN”, who was looking forwards to the “real” football starting I think is quite classic of the arrogance and ignorance in general exhibited by Americans about most things outside their borders.

    How can a sport that is played, followed and supported by people of every country in the world including the usa be un-natural?

    Or how can a game that is played by steroidal heavily padded pansies, and played predominantly with the hands be called football?

    Their arrogance never ceases to amaze me.

  • macn0ble (Finland)

    Jun 21, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #13

    AngerOfTheNorth- Yes we were part of Russian Empire in between 1809-1917, but Finland became independent in 1917, so not for a while anymore 😉

  • GeordieGerman

    Jun 21, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #14

    I was in my local on Saturday. The landlord and a taxi driver who was there asked me if England had changed their flag? As the English flag was red crosses on a background of white and blue. I then had to explain to them the difference between the Union Jack and the cross of St. George.

  • Darryl

    Jun 21, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Comment #15

    I’m interested as to why American’s call it soccer, yet they call a sport, “American football” that is rarely played with the feet. Enough said.

  • karlito

    Jun 21, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #16

    Darryl: American’s call it soccer for the same reason those in England used to. It’s short for “Association Football,” as there was also the competing “Rugby Football.” Since the players of association football couldn’t very well shorten their sport name to the obvious (“ass” football), they got creative and called it “soccer.” In England, Rugby eventually came to more or less drop the football part of their name, association football could safely go back to calling themselves simply footballers without too much confusion.

  • karlito

    Jun 21, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #17

    American’s didn’t have this luxury, as there was no easy alternative for american football, which continued to be known as Football, so Americans who played association football were more or less forced into continuing to use the “soccer” alternative nomenclature. So, really, the English really have themselves to blame for us Yanks calling European Football “soccer” 😛

  • karlito

    Jun 21, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #18

    (Incidentally, the term “football” doesn’t historically refer to a game played with the foot, but, rather, was a term used to differentiate the plebian sports played “on foot” versus the aristocratic sports played on horseback.)


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