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Friday, April 29, 2011

Are some teams more equal than others?

Did you read George Orwell's Animal Farm? In Chapter 10, only one commandment remains on the wall: "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others". Something similar happens in football - some teams don't have to follow the rules.

Some of you may remember FIFA's circular no. 1150.

"In national A team matches, up to a maximum of six substitutes may be used."

On 3 March 2010, Portugal defeated China PR 2 - 0 in a friendly match. Both teams made 7 substitutions. That game was removed from FIFA's list of "A" matches. If you go on and search for matches between Portugal and China PR only one result will be returned: a friendly played in May 2002 in Macau and won 2 - 0 by the Portuguese.

On 11 August 2010, Mexico tied Spain in a friendly match. Mexico made 7 substitutions, the World champions made 8. The match report can be found on and on the website of the Mexican Football Federation (click Por Año, click AÑO 2010, click on the "5" in the "JE" column and "AÑO 2010" row, click on the score for México - España).

This match is still on

Fast forward to 29 March 2011. Qatar and Russia played a friendly in Doha to celebrate their nominations as hosts of the 2022 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. The game finished 1 - 1 with Qatar making 9 substitutions and Russia 8. The match report can be found on the website of the Football Union of Russia (that's the Russian FA for those who might ask) and there's also this article in Qatar's Gulf Times. Here's an interesting quote:

Russia returned with an overhauled look after the break with Advocaat making as many as seven changes to the side without much success.

This match is still on

Are some teams more equal than others?

1 comment:

  1. As you know, it is better not tohose friendlies - sometimes even for the winners.