An Alternate History of FIFA, the World Cup, and International Football.

1922 Denmark World Cup of Football – Aftermath
  • 1922 Denmark World Cup of Football – Aftermath​

    The Canadians held the trophy up high, celebrating their first ever championship won outside of North America. They had become the first non-European winners of the World Cup, in an all non-European semi-final. The Argentines accepted their silver medals with a mix of sadness yet satisfaction for having gotten this far for the first time in their history. As was tradition, a couple of teams stuck around to play local clubs from all around Denmark’s regional leagues:

    Canada 2-0 Kjøbenhavns Boldklub
    Argentina 4-1 Boldklubben Frem
    United States 0-2 Akademisk Boldklub
    New Zealand 3-1 Skovshoved IF
    China 2-2 Boldklubben 1903
    São Paulo 7-2 Aarhus Gymnastikforening
    United Provinces 0-1 Boldklubben af 1893
    Japan 6-0 Boldklubben 1909

    Once the news of the World Cup results got out, many Europeans, both those who had been at the matches and those who hadn’t, were frustrated by the performance of their national teams. There wasn’t much that could be done, as most athletes had been killed or maimed in the Great War, and those left were old and only willing to play this one last World Cup. The future didn’t look bright for Europe’s footballing prospects, but the Americas looked stronger than ever.

    FIFA promised to make significant changes to the World Cup draw, and change the berths to give less leeway to European teams as nearly all out of the 16 of them had crashed out before the quarter-finals. The World Cup had been a moderate success; audiences weren’t the same in Denmark as they were in England and Scotland, but they were still decently sized. Canada’s victory had made their hosting duty in 1924 seem much more justified, despite them being a mediocre team when they were picked for 1916.
    1922 and 1923 – Clashing with Clubs
  • 1922 and 1923 – Clashing with Clubs​

    FIFA would receive another intake of teams during this period, but obviously a much smaller one than last time. All regional Danish FAs had garnered enough popularity in their home country to submit themselves as separate members of FIFA:
    • Aruba
    • Asturias
    • Balearic Islands
    • Bornholm
    • Bosnia-Herzegovina
    • British Honduras
    • Byelorussia
    • Canary Islands
    • Córdoba
    • Curaçao
    • Extremadura
    • Florida
    • Funen
    • Grenada
    • Lolland-Falster
    • Macau
    • Murcia
    • Navarre
    • New Caledonia
    • Poland
    • Santa Catarina
    • Ukraine
    • Vojvodina
    International football had now breezed past club competitions in terms of attendance records and profitability. Players were putting their international duties over their clubs, and international breaks became more and more common, sometimes even conflicting with club match dates. Increasing anger from the clubs due to this issue eventually reached FIFA. At the time, the Federation did not interact much with club football, being entirely pre-occupied with national teams, but the associations had forwarded the complaints to FIFA and they proved difficult to ignore. Many European clubs were calling for an organisation like CONMEBOL that could organise the associations into one neat confederation instead of them having to answer directly to the big one.

    FIFA allowed this, under the condition that they would absolutely have to get involved in the club scene, and that their Laws of the Game had to apply to all clubs under its jurisdiction. The national associations of Europe agreed to their terms, and joined to create the Union of European Football Associations or UEFA. Then-president of FIFA Jules Rimet took charge of the organisation while also presiding over the Federation. As Africa was the last continent left under direct FIFA administration, they decided to give their hold away to the African teams to form the African Association Football Union or AAFU.

    A minor decision made during this time was the renaming of the World Cup Trophy. Its generic name was dropped in favour of naming it the Woolfall Trophy, in honour of the late Daniel Burley Woolfall, second president of FIFA.

    1923 Germany European Championship​

    1. Netherlands
    2. Denmark
    3. England
    4. Bulgaria

    1923 São Paulo South American Championship​

    1. Uruguay
    2. Argentina
    3. Bahia
    4. São Paulo

    1923 Jamaica North American Championship​

    1. Canada
    2. United States
    3. New England
    4. Jamaica

    1923 Japan Asian Championship​

    1. United Provinces
    2. China
    3. Japan
    4. Hong Kong

    1923 Cape African Championship​

    1. Egypt
    2. Cape
    3. Natalia
    4. Orange Free State

    1923 South Australia Australasian Championship​

    1. New Zealand
    2. New South Wales
    3. South Australia
    4. Victoria
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    1924 Canada World Cup of Football – Introduction of the International Cup and Qualifiers Draw
  • 1924 Canada World Cup of Football – Introduction of the International Cup and Qualifiers Draw​

    In 1923, many associations began to complain, as they always did. This time, many saw the qualifiers as too brutal and unequal; Mexico played only 4 matches in a 5-team to qualify for the World Cup, yet Hong Kong played 7 matches in an 8-team group and an extra play-off, winning nearly all of them, and yet still couldn’t qualify for an international tournament. There was no possible solution to this. As the Federation got bigger and bigger, qualifying groups became larger and larger, and the process became more complicated. One day, while reading a newspaper from London called The Fulham Constant, which featured a proposal for a hypothetical 2nd-tier World Cup including which teams would’ve qualified for it, Jules Rimet had found his solution: teams that just barely miss out on qualifying for the World Cup would be granted qualification to the so-called International Cup, to be held concurrently with and in the biggest footballing nation that failed to qualify for the main World Cup. All travel arrangements would be paid out by the host nation. FIFA hoped this would give teams that don’t ever qualify for the World Cup the chance to get some opponents outside of their usual continental opponents.

    The following teams withdrew from the qualifiers: Siebenbürgen, due to a lack of players willing to make the qualifiers trip, Aruba due to financial issues, Selangor, due to their association going bankrupt, and Baluchistan, due to pay disputes between the players and the association.

    Both the World Cup and the International Trophy had the same amount of teams and berth allocation. There was 1 guaranteed qualifying spot for the hosts. In UEFA, there were 15 groups of 7 where the 1st-placed teams qualified for the World Cup and the 2nd-placed teams qualified for the International Cup. In CONMEBOL, there were 5 groups of 6, where the 3 best group winners qualified for the World Cup automatically while the worst 2 winners went to a play-off; the winner went to the World Cup and the loser to the International Cup, accompanied by the 3 best 2nd-placed teams. In CONACACAF, there were 6 groups of 3, where the 2 best group winners qualified for the World Cup automatically while the worst 4 winners went to a play-off tournament; the winner of the final went to the World Cup and the loser to the International Cup, accompanied by the other 2 group winners. FCA had 4 groups of 8, where the 2 best group winners automatically qualified for the World Cup while the 2 worst winners went to a play-off; the winner went to the World Cup and the loser to the International Cup, accompanied by the 2 best 2nd-placed teams. AAFU had 2 groups of 5, where the winner of each group went to a play-off; the winner went to the World Cup and the loser to the International Cup. PAFC had 2 groups of 5, where the winner of each group went to a play-off; the winner went to the World Cup and the loser to the International Cup.

    These were the pots used in the draws:

    And these were the results of the draws:
    • Group 1: Wales, Scotland, Irish Free State, Halychyna, Isle of Man, Fiume, Ukraine
    • Group 2: Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Vorarlberg, Gascony, Jersey, Bosnia-Herzegovina
    • Group 3: Catalonia, Cantabria, Switzerland, Latvia, Dalmatia, Guernsey, Turkey
    • Group 4: Norway, Normandy, Württemberg, Saarland, Lower Silesia, Oldenburg, Asturias
    • Group 5: Bulgaria, Cornwall, Galicia, Corsica, Portugal, Luxembourg, Byelorussia
    • Group 6: Netherlands, Valencia, Leinster, Serbia, Greece, Hesse, Vojvodina
    • Group 7: Denmark, Bukovina, Styria, Aragon, France, Liechtenstein, Murcia
    • Group 8: Romania, Italy, Schleswig-Holstein, Subcarpathia, Szeklerland, Pomerania, Lolland-Falster
    • Group 9: Sweden, Toledo-La Mancha, Slovenia, Saxony, Northern Ireland, Alderney, Navarre
    • Group 10: Jutland, Amikejo, Moravia, Baden, Rhineland, Monaco, Russia
    • Group 11: Hungary, Finland, Provence, Bavaria, Lithuania, Sudetenland, Bornholm
    • Group 12: Basque Country, Castile, Thuringia, Croatia, Transylvania, Malta, Balearic Islands
    • Group 13: Montenegro, Andalusia, Tyrol, Upper Silesia, Carinthia, Andorra, Extremadura
    • Group 14: England, East Prussia, Salzburg, Brittany, Estonia, Iceland, Canary Islands
    • Group 15: León, Germany, Bohemia, Munster, Gibraltar, Danzig, Funen
    • Group 16: Uruguay, Minas Gerais, Paraíba, Espírito Santo, British Guiana
    • Group 17: São Paulo, Chile, Sergipe, Ceará, Ecuador
    • Group 18: Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Colombia, Paraná, Córdoba
    • Group 19: Argentina, Pernambuco, Paraguay, Rio Grande do Norte, Venezuela
    • Group 20: Bolivia, Maranhão, Surinam, Piauí, Acre
    • Group 21: Pará, Peru, Rio Grande do Sul, Amazonas, Santa Catarina
    • Group 22: Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba
    • Group 23: Cuba, New England, Curaçao
    • Group 24: Mexico, Newfoundland, British Honduras
    • Group 25: Quebec, Guatemala, Grenada
    • Group 26: United States, El Salvador, Barbados
    • Group 27: Jamaica, Haiti, Florida
    • Group 28: Japan, Bengal, Malacca, Penang, Eretz Israel, Cochin, Portuguese India, Macau
    • Group 29: United Provinces, Madras, Bombay, Bihar and Orissa, Philippines, Mandatory Palestine, Travancore, Burma
    • Group 30: Hong Kong, Singapore, Assam, Mysore, Pahang, French India, Perak, Dutch East Indies
    • Group 31: China, Persia, Hyderabad, Punjab, Negeri Sembilan, Siam, Korea, Afghanistan
    • Group 32: Cape, Liberia, Transvaal, Zanzibar, Congo
    • Group 33: Egypt, Orange Free State, Natalia, Mozambique, Uganda
    • Group 34: New Zealand, Queensland, South Australia, Papua, New Caledonia
    • Group 35: New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea