YORK CITY SOUTH
new frontiers (issue 8)
World Cup 94. The USA Way. What Might Happen
World Cup '94 is just around the corner and who knows what lies just around the corner? Was the glitz of the Las Vegas draw just the start of what we can expect? Already, grandiose plans have been scuppered by FIFA. We are left with games being played indoors and names on shirts. No fancy rule changes or games played in quarters have been allowed.
Its just as well really. Take a look at some of the other American sports and you can easily see how the World Cup could have gone.
The obvious one is American Football. Squads of 45 and dedicated teams would have ruled the day. England could have brought on the Arsenal team when defending and called a time out when Gazza felt the blubbers coming on. The one drawback to large squads would be that the popular press would have no one to champion for a place in the squad. The squad would be big enough for everyone. "Have boots and passport" would guarantee every player a place in the squad. Even Nigel Pepper (and Paul Barnes) would have been guaranteed a place in the England squad. Their record at taking penalties would ensure places in the squad, one coming on whenever England had a penalty to convert.
With unlimited substitutions, the international cap which once took a lot of winning would be available to anyone. Americans are all for speeding things up, so perhaps we can expect to see substitutions to be made as play continues, ice hockey style.
I'm sure that many of the rules of baseball with its long drawn out games and low scoring results could be incorporated somehow. To me, it seems that there are a lot of man running round doing nothing, it is already sounding like the England midfield to me.
One sport sure to be incorporated is ice hockey with its bench emptying full team brawls. Expect the South Americans to fully participate in the ice hockey aspects of the competition.
The World Cup organisers may even yet grant Germany a special dispensation to allow them to play all their games in California. Training sessions will be at the local surf beach where the players will be able to perfect their diving skills.
Finally, don't despair. Knowing America, and their love of lopsided leagues, wild cards, conferences, play offs, superbowls and best of 7 game finals, England and Denmark may still find themselves playing in The World Cup.
Whatever else happens at the World Cup, you can be fairly confident that the hot dogs and burgers will be a sight better than we are used to in England.
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