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【米奇看世界】英蘇存裂痕 聯合但鬆散

■世界盃中,英國分四隊出戰,但只有英格蘭代表隊(圖)打入決賽周。 資料圖片■世界盃中,英國分四隊出戰,但只有英格蘭代表隊(圖)打入決賽周。 資料圖片

In the last couple of months, I have been taking everyone around the United Kingdom(英國), mainly between England(英格蘭) and Scotland(蘇格蘭). You may think that these are just geographic(地理上的)regions within one single country without much difference, just like we have Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories in Hong Kong. Yet, this is not the same case in the UK.

世界盃代表 英國出四隊

In the UK, the difference between these regions is as huge as between independent nations. Actually, nations are how they are called: England, Scotland, Wales(威爾斯), Northern Ireland(北愛爾蘭). You may wonder how enormous this independent and difference can be? To illustrate, one obvious example is the FIFA World Cup(世界盃).

The latest FIFA World Cup was held in June and July in Russia(俄羅斯)this year, and the team who got the Forth place(第四名) is the team of England. Here, I believe you must notice that the name of the team is not the United Kingdom; rather, it is just England. This small but significant detail precisely means that this team only represents the people from England only, which excludes other nations of the United Kingdom. It does not mean those other three nations do not have football teams representing them respectively, although they were not as famous as the team of England and did not make it to the FIFA World Cup. Then, you may think: For all sports competitions between countries, these nations of the United Kingdom would have their own teams. In this case, you are wrong.

規則有不同 奧運只一隊

For different sports competitions between countries, the United Kingdom has different appearances. For example, in the Olympic Games(奧運), you will see only one team representing the whole country of the United Kingdom. Now, you may find it very confused and wonder why in some cases, each nation has its different representations while in some others, the entire country has only one team. The most straightforward answer is that all these four nations of United Kingdom applied to be an individual member of International Federation of Association Football(國際足球總會,簡稱FIFA) and FIFA accepted their applications; while some other organizers do not. Therefore, when you are watching the FIFA World Cup, be careful not to call those teams as the team of the United Kingdom: address them as the nations they are representing. ■米奇 中大通識碩士,工作數年又跑去英國留學,順道看看外國文化