The countries of the U.K. have separate soccer teams because international soccer began as a game played between the countries of Britain.
While other countries would probably like for Britain to be forced to field a single team, enacting such a major reform would be incredibly difficult.
The people of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales would likely hate to lose their independent soccer teams.
At this summer’s World Cup, Harry Kane will lead an English National Team with a reputation for under-performing to World Cup success, while reigning Champions League winner Gareth Bale will be watching from home, unable to qualify from the relatively small soccer nation of Wales out of the intensively competitive European region.
So just why is it that England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, all members of the United Kingdom, play as separate countries in international soccer? Business Insider reached out to Stefan Szymanski, a professor at the University of Michigan, as well as a Brit and one of the authors of Soccernomics, for clarification.
The answer it turns out, lies in the very origins of international soccer, which began as a competition between the four nations of Britain.
“The first international game of soccer was played in 1872, and it was between England and Scotland,” Szymanski said. “So, the whole idea of nations playing against each other actually really comes from Britain as well, the whole idea of international games.
“Essentially, between 1872 and 1900 there are dozens of games played between what we call in Britain the four home nations, there are dozens of games recorded but no games between any other nations. And only at the very end of the 19th century do other countries start to play. “
So when FIFA was first formed in 1904, the organization respected the idea …read more
Source:: Business Insider