Recently in Hong Kong the unique chance to watch my first ever football ‘World Cup Final’ came up! With a difference of course… Basically as an alternative to the normal and four yearly World Cup, there is an Unofficial Football World Championship which happens on an ongoing basis. It runs on a simple system – similar to Boxing – if you beat the current champion you become the winner! It dates back to the first ever international between England and Scotland in 1872. England won that match and they would remain Unofficial Football World Champions until they were beaten. Over the years, there is a league table (Scotland currently lead). You get 1 point for a win when you play a World Champions Match and zero for a draw. [I:https://www.papublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/JonnyBlair44.png]
As a crazy football fan, this competition is an excellent alternative to the FIFA World Cup. Unfortunately until recently I never had the chance to see an actual UFWC match. Thanks to Australia drawing with North Korea, this meant that North Korea remained champions going into their recent match with Hong Kong.
So finally one could go to an Unofficial World Cup Final – amazing as I’m temporarily living out in Hong Kong
The youth in me hasn’t left – I was very excited especially when I saw my match ticket and knew I was heading to basically an alternative World Cup Final. [I:https://www.papublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/JonnyBlair45.png]
It was taking place at the Hong Kong Stadium near Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. I made my way there with three others for a fantastic day out. Entrance was 80 Hong Kong Dollars (6.40 UK, $10.30 USD) and well worth it. Hong Kong Stadium is magnificent. Nestled nicely in between two other sports stadiums, steep hills and gaping skyscrapers, this is certainly a venue with cracking views!
[I:https://www.papublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/JonnyBlair46.png] Skyscrapers are everywhere in Hong Kong – you just can’t miss them unless you are well out into the New Territories. This means the views are normally stunning. The views from within and around the national Hong Kong Stadium are typically impressive.
But it was all about the football and although Hong Kong kept the North Koreans at bay early on, they succumbed to a 4-0 defeat. Half time score was 3-0. Hong Kong lacked the skill and strength but they had ideas and pace – and a few chances of their own. But clinical finishing and composure saw the North Koreans maintain their title of Unofficial World Champions.
North Korea looked a good side and worthy of their title as Unofficial World Champions but they still lost out to Australia in their place in the East Asian Cup Finals as the Aussies later hammered Taiwan (called Chinese Taipei for political reasons) 8-0!
[I:https://www.papublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/JonnyBlair47.png] There were actually a few North Korean fans at the match who I spoke to – they spoke English and had interesting stories to tell even though they are not actually North Korean they brought a flag along to support the team they support.
So why no photo of North Korea lifting the trophy? Because there isn’t one. These are the Unofficial Football World Championships don’t forget, but fun none the less!
And while I’m at it – if you know me, you’ll know I come from Northern Ireland – I hope we can win the UFWC again – Northern Ireland are 5 times winners and 29th in the all time rankings. I’m looking forward to attending another UFWC title match someday!
To read other reports like North Korea remain Unofficial Football World Champions head to Jonny Blair’s excellent travel and lifestyle website called Dont Stop Living for more travel, football and lifestyle tales.. Check here for free reprint license: North Korea beat Hong Kong to Remain Unofficial Football World Champions!.