The short answer is: by imitation. There are no standards.
In the World Cup, each country in the UK has its own team. England and Scotland are the two oldest powers in the world. The beautiful game They have been rivals since the 19th century, before FIFA existed. For this reason, in the case of the FIFA World Cup specifically, the countries under Elizabeth II’s rule preferred to continue competing separately, as was the case in the good old days.
On the other hand, in the Olympic Games, all the territories associated with the British Crown compete in one way or another under the name Great Britain – which, you see, is different from the United Kingdom. Great Britain is the name of the largest island in the archipelago, where three countries are located: England, Scotland and Wales. The name United Kingdom includes Northern Ireland, because it refers to the political unity between these four countries, not to geography.
Great Britain: An island on which Scotland, England, and Wales are located.
United Kingdom: A country made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The deal becomes confusing because although competitors are identified on uniforms and scoreboards as Great Britain (GRB), in practice they can come from various places that belong to the United Kingdom but are not on the island of Great Britain – most commonly this is Clearly, of course, in Northern Ireland. There are two other regions in a similar situation to Northern Ireland: the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
To make matters worse, some distant overseas territories, such as the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar, are not even part of the United Kingdom – let alone Great Britain, of course – but also fall into the mix. The British Olympic Association (BOA) is responsible for the delegations of all these people.
The reason for this is historical. This association has occurred since the first modern Olympic Games, which were held in 1896. Originally, only Great Britain competed, and today the GRB branding on uniforms and scoreboards is so entrenched that it has become difficult to change. Furthermore, adopting the United Kingdom instead of Great Britain would solve the problem of Northern Ireland and the smaller islands, but would exclude the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar. In other words, it would be half the solution.
The Board of Auditors itself has already stated: “Neither the United Kingdom nor Great Britain (…) will be representative of all territories that fall within the jurisdiction of the Board of Auditors. While the BOA has always sought to recognize the valuable contribution of regions that contribute to our Olympic success, The International Olympic Committee has always recognized the team as a GRB since its creation in 1896.
It is also good to remember that the Union will still exist, under whatever name, because secession is in no one’s interest: only England will be below Russia in the medal standings, and the other regions will fall to the bottom of the table.
We won’t win apart: Where would the 2016 Olympics medals won by Great Britain go if the federations played separately:
103 – England.
16 – Scotland.
9 – Wales.
1 – Isle of Man;
1 – Channel Islands.
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