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Jul 9 15 11:39 AM

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England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all play individually in the European U21 Championship qualifying tournament - effectively the beginning of the Olympic Games tournament's qualifying tournament. As we all know, the four "home nations" combine to play as "Great Britain" in the Olympics' final tournament. 

What I'd like to know is, are there any other examples of nations competing individually in a qualifying tournament only for them to combine in the final tournament in other sports?
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#1 [url]

Jul 9 15 4:10 PM

The GB Olympic football team was a one-off for the 2012 Olympics. It won't happen again for 2016. GB does this in many other sports (for example, Rugby 7s, Field Hockey, Basketball) and in Curling, Scotland is the official GB representative (it's still Scotland, but they play under the GB name at the Olympics). I'm not sure there are any other examples in other countries.

In Lacrosse, this year, China and Taiwan entered a combined team for the Asia-Pacific Lacrosse Championship, and Israel/Palestine have entered a combined team for the Australian Football World Championship, but there isn't any qualifying for any of these events.

There was a "Gervakia" team (Germany + Slovakia) in the women's Intercrosse World Championship due to lack of numbers for both teams, and Spain, Belgium and Norway sent a combined team to the European Women's Tchoukball Championship in 2014.

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#3 [url]

Jul 9 15 8:47 PM

The Germanies did in the 1956-1964 years as I remember, but de facto these were not combined German team. East and West played each other to decide which team would represent the so called Unified German Team.

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#4 [url]

Jul 9 15 10:30 PM

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) circa 1992 for a number of sports (and under a number of different names), although that's more of a slowly splitting up into multiple nations.

If it counts, Serbia and Montenegro played the 2006 FIFA World Cup as one team shortly after both countries had declared independence.

Ireland play as All-Ireland (Republic of Ireland + Northern Ireland) in a number of sports, most notably rugby and cricket, and then in the Olympics there's a strange situation where Northern Irish athletes are able to choose between Ireland and Great Britain (Team GB itself is a case of athletes from Great Britain as well as its territories around the world who are usually independent in sports terms).

Another from cricket is some of the teams that enter as regional selections like the West Indies (is 'East Africa' still a team?).

As for Team GB's football, too late now for 2016, but the powers that be really should try and work something out. I've said it before that this issue should be settled on the pitch. If one nation does well enough to earn a spot, let their FA control the team. If more than one qualifies, either work together like grown-ups or just go home smiley: wink.

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#5 [url]

Jul 9 15 10:53 PM

The reason for my posting was to find out what systems other sports used when confronted in a situation similar to the the Home nations one. I know that London 2012 was a one-off and that there was some talk about it happening again for 2016 (which has since gone away after the FA backtracked). I'm that other sports have a similar problem but was interested to see how they resolve them.

I had a look at the Korea unified team story that Luca posted. It was pretty interesting:


I agree with mattsanger92 "either work together like grown-ups or just go home smiley: wink.", I'd like to see a playoff match between those who reach the necessary stage of the qualifying tournament.

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#6 [url]

Jul 10 15 9:19 AM

I guess you could consider the Dutch Antilles teams in this topic. ABC played each other to decide who had the right to select the combined squad. So in some sense, the ABC matches were like qualifiers (or trials).

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#8 [url]

Jun 6 16 10:21 PM

There was either a rugby or american football team of several arab countries combined, but i'm pretty sure it was rugby.

In the early olympics there was an Australasia side (Australia plus New Zealand).

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#9 [url]

Jun 7 16 7:51 AM

abramjones wrote:

In the early olympics there was an Australasia side (Australia plus New Zealand).

Australia also participated in winning the Davis Cup five times with New Zealand under the alias Australasia (1905-1914). 


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