Did Lapland really win the World Cup?

first_img Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest The first World Cup organised by the NFB took place in 2006 and was scheduled to feature eight teams, but the path to the tournament was not a smooth one. After being stripped of the rights to host the event, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus set up a breakaway tournament to take place at the same time. The eight became six – West Papua, the Roma, Sapmi, Monaco, Occitania, the host nation, and Southern Cameroons. The Papuans, though, failed to show up for the 2006 General Assembly, and the Roma were, understandably, hampered by logistical problems, so the final lineup featured only four teams. On the eve of the competition, visa problems meant the Cameroonians were refused entry to France, leaving the number of participants at three.Sapmi, boasting a side filled with professionals from the Norwegian league, waltzed through the group stage, beating Occitania 7-0 and hammering Monaco 14-0. Somehow, though, the principality secured a place in the final with a 3-2 win over the Occitanians. To say the final at Stade Perruc on 24 November was a one-sided affair would be something of an understatement – Sapmi ran out 21-1 winners, with three players scoring hat-tricks. You can be sure the memory of the triumph kept jolly old Saint Nick warm on his deliveries a month later.One of the hat-trick scorers, Tom Hogli, has since gone on to win 23 caps for Norway, but his former national side have since failed to repeat their success – in 2008 they finished third (although the women’s side did seal their inaugural title) and were third again in 2009 as Padania, helped by the former Internazionale striker Maurizio Ganz, took the crown for the second time.Which football teams appear in the Bible?“It is often said that Queen of the South is the only team mentioned in the Bible – but I can find many mentions of Bury (starting in Genesis 23) and Reading (Acts 8:28), and, stretching a point, Hearts and Wolves also get some space. Are there any others I’ve missed out?” asked George Chilvers in 2005.There are biblical references aplenty so best to get the most tenuous ones out of the way first. Psalm 80:13 mentions, “Boars from the forest ravage it and the creatures of the field feed on it”, while Genesis 12:15 notes: “And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace.” Isaiah 41:7 even manages to (sort of) cover two Premier League clubs: “The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer spurs on him who strikes the anvil.”But we can do better. Jeremiah 50:25 reads: “The Lord has opened his arsenal and brought out the weapons of his wrath, for the Sovereign Lord Almighty has work to do in the land of the Babylonians.” There are also the three mentions of Bolivian club The Strongest; in Samuel 11:16, Chronicles 5:2, and Daniel 3:20, while Brazilian outfit Corinthians share their name with two books in the Bible. As every child knows, Father Christmas lives in Lapland, surrounded by magical elves (a bit like Sergio Busquets at Barcelona). Less well-known is the story of Lapland’s World Cup triumph.In 2003 the Nouvelle Fédération-Board was set up as the governing body of those regions, stateless people and unrecognised nations not permitted to join Fifa. Monaco, Occitania (comprising chunks of southern France, the Alps and Catalonia), and, yes, Lapland (or, more accurately, Sapmi) were among the founder members. Others – including the principality of Sealand, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Iraqi Kurdistan and a side representing the Aramean-Syriac people – have since joined their number. Topics Read more Share on WhatsApp Pinterest Football Reuse this content features Share on LinkedIn “There are a few occurrences, discounting the use of place names in Israel that still exist and have teams or place names in Latin America named after biblical references,” adds John Morrow. “In the New International Version you can find Grasshoppers [Zurich] a number of times (eg Numbers 13:33), while Aurora (a club in Guatemala) occurs a number of times in the Spanish language Nueva Versión Internacional (eg Job 3:9), as does Uruguayan side Defensor (eg Proverbs 23:11).”But our favourite has to be this – somewhat dubious – suggestion from Bill Wright, relating to Proverbs 13:23: “ A poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away.” Something Stags fans will probably get quicker than most.Next week …The Knowledge is off on holiday, but will be back on 3 January. Happy Christmas!Can you help?“Was the late Keith Chegwin the inventor, or at least first owner, of a half and half scarf? As a young Dons fan, I recall Multi-Coloured Swapshop doing an OB from Hampden Park on the morning of the 1978 Scottish Cup final. On being asked as to who he would be supporting in the upcoming game, Cheggers admitted to sitting on the fence (having presumably no interest or knowledge of Scottish football). At that point the utter abomination of a half-Aberdeen, half-Rangers scarf was produced for him to wear. This clearly wasn’t commercially available as Aberdeen and Rangers were no more fond of each other in 1978 than they are today. So, presumably it had been knocked up by somebody at BBC Scotland that morning. I can’t, as yet, find the relevant clip on YouTube, but I bet it’s out there. Are there any earlier examples of these things, or is this one more example of Chegwin being ahead of the cultural curve?” asks Gio Alzapiedi.“Almost every time Huddersfield play a Premier League game, the fact they haven’t played the other team in the league since 1972 (the last time Huddersfield were in the top division), crops up. But 45 years isn’t that long in football. So what is the longest period of time between two teams meeting each other in the league?” wonders Torbjorn O Karlsen.“Segunda B side Sabadell have drawn 13 of their opening 19 games this season. Is this a record?” asks Will Unwin.“Manchester City’s winning league run currently stands at an English record of 16 matches. The European consecutive win record is Bayern Munich with 19 matches. Who holds the world record for consecutive wins in competitive football?” tweets Reza Hardy.Send questions and answers to [email protected] or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU Mansfield Town: in the Bible (kind of). 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