Four independent members
FIFA start without Country of origin because it was a disaster. In order to rejoin these unions, they were all offered the opportunity to become independent members, not just Britain. With that, England have not one vote on FIFA, but four. With the current number of 211 members, it doesn’t matter anymore, but at the beginning of the last century there weren’t even ten countries affiliated with FIFA. Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland thus gained enormous influence.
And then there’s something else: FIFA recognizes IFAB as the custodian of the rules of the game. Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland each received 12.5% of the vote from the organization, making up half of the total. The other half is for FIFA itself. As rule changes only occur with a minimum of 75% of the vote, FIFA is not in a position to decide this independently. Unions always need the support of at least two Country of origin: 50% + 12.5% + 12.5%.
Under these terms, the four British federations did indeed join FIFA between 1905 and 1911. The only thing that changed was that, in the 1920s, Ireland was split into an independent nation and Northern Ireland, which is still part of the United Kingdom.
That’s why Home Nations was so decisive for rule changes. That’s why Holland will play against Wales tomorrow and not against England. And that is why Wales and England are placed in the same group for the upcoming world championships.
Photo Caption: 1988 World Cup qualifier between Netherlands and Wales Photo: Croes, Rob C. / Anefo , National Archivesright
“Typical tv ninja. Pop culture lover. Web expert. Alcohol fan. Wannabe analyst. General bacon aficionado.”