ABOUT THE PROJECT IMAGINARY EUROPEAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The project “Imaginary European Football Championships” is a combination of modern football and the European history. It provides an overview of European championships through history hypothesizing what would have happened if…i.e. it hypothesizes how the football  teams would have looked like if the Championships had been held in 868, 920, 1030, 1130, 1250, 1350, 1477, 1580, 1648, 1748, 1812, 1825, 1878, 1914, 1930 and 1942 –the years when significant states’ borders changed.

 Norms and aims:

  • The reason why the year 868. was chosen is that the second half of the 9th century marks the beginning of political activities that dictated the majority of events in Europe in the following centuries. On the other hand, the Third Reich was at its prime in 1942. which presents the last Imaginary championship because Europe experienced its last major border change then. Also, the real European championships started to take place in a period of Cold War which disables us to creatively select players. We would be able to make an exception in a couple of socialist states which no longer exist, hence the year choice.
  • The selection is based on the author’s opinion. The only prerequisite for selecting football players were their birth places, i.e. a footballer plays for team of the country where his birthplace was located in that specific moment in history. If a player’s birth place did not exist in a certain historical period, then we checked in which country that birth place would be located in the future.
  • When selecting players, all religious, racial and ethnical laws enacted in a certain period as well as certain historical anomalies (such as the non-existence of a race or a national identity) were ignored.
  • Sometimes, if having two players of the same quality, we selected a certain player just to show a territorial gain.
  • In addition to independent states, states which have big autonomies within larger states, areas ruled by kings or noblemen or areas ruled by a ruler who only had a formal authority (shires, provinces, principalities, etc.) were taken into account.
  • Altought same football team can be mentioned in few Championships, however, the players’ rosters do not repeat. For example, France participated in Championships in 1030., 1477., 1648., 1748., 1812., 1914. and 1942. and the players’ selections depended on the changes of states borders.
  • We tried not to select political entities from the same part of Europe within the same year. For example, the teams of Portugal, Aragon, Castile, Leone, Navarro and Islamic Granada would be favorites to win the championship 1477. However, we provided historical information from different parts of Europe in a certain period.
  • The majority of coats of arms are replications of the real coats of arms used by political entities. Some, however, represent the ruling noble families (Capet for the Kingdom of Burgundy, Hohenstaufen for The Duchy of Swabia, Welf for the Duchy of Bavaria, Anjou for the County of Province, Visconty for the countries ruled by the dukes of Milan). Some are the improvisations of symbols which were used by the political entities in certain periods (Byzantium, East and West Francia, the Papal State, the Emirate of Cordoba, March of Tuscany, the Kingdom of Knut, Duchy of Saxony and Duchy of Francony, the Kingdom of Italy, Spanish Netherlands, German empire in 1914, France in 1914 and 1942, Italy in 1878, 1930 and 1942 and Reichskommissariat Ukraine which was actually an officer badge). The coat of arms of the Ottoman Empire (crescent, which was one of the Islamic symbols, and a sultan’s tughra) belong to this category. It is important to notice that the majority of these coats of arms did not exist at those periods, rather they were designed decades or centuries later (Moravia, the Kingdom of Northumbria, Mercia, Hungary, Lorraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, The Kingdom of Asturias, Dalmatia).
  • The colors of football kits were based on the colors used in a coat of arms or a flag (if there was a flag), i.e. if a country did not have any symbols (especially in the early Middle Ages), imagination was used.  
  • We tried to use the names of political entites that were use in specified history period, however, occasionally, we used anachronisms such as “The Byzantine Empire” or we used “empire” in a metaphorical rather than a figurative sense, i.e. the empire does not imply that an emperor rules the country like in the cases of the Great Britain or France. These two countries were a kingdom and a republic in the observed period but with the usage of the word empire, we wanted to stress the size of the territory they had. Furthermore, instead of the names the Kingdom of Hungary and the Czech Kingdom, the names the The Lands of the Czech Crown and The Lands of the Hungarian Crown are used because we do not want readers to compare these countries to a modern Hungary and the Czech Republic and because the kingdoms consisted of wider areas where more smaller self-governing areas were located.