FAQ for rec.sport.soccer

Frequently Asked Questions for rec.sport.soccer
Latest version: 6 APRIL 2006





Welcome to rec.sport.soccer!  This newsgroup is 
dedicated to the discussion of all things soccer and is 
a source of news including the latest results.  You can 
just read the news and discussions or join in by posting 
to the group.  The FAQ should be seen as a general 
guideline to posting to or reading the messages in the 
r.s.s. community. It won't answer every question you 
might have, it's only intended to answer FREQUENTLY 
asked questions.  If you think there is something which 
is not in this FAQ but should be, please post your 
opinions in r.s.s. or email the FAQ maintainer (see the 
CREDITS section).



Contributors to the original 1995 FAQ were Thomas 'the 
Tank Engine' Esamie (original maintenance), Chris Allen, 
Marcelo Weinberger, Tom Fragala, Llolsten Kaonga, Garry 
Archer, Gordon Walker, Tim Astley, Yonghee Choi, Colin 
Morris, Tulio Hernandez, Oliver Tse, Ates Temeltas, 
Reinhard Kahle and Hans Huttel.  The web address of the 
original version is http://rsssf.com/rssbest/rssfaq.htm

Much of the original 1995 version remains in the current 
2006 version.  Where possible this has been acknowledged 
(assuming the original contributor is known). The 
current version of the FAQ is maintained by Joh Lange 
(johdl@hotmail.com). Major contributors were Karel 
Stokkermans and Ll‚o, thanks to Daniele Paserman, Jim 
Goloboy, James Allnutt, Juan Vazquez, Robbie and MH for 
suggestions. R.S.S posts were used in answering some of 
the FAQs (contributions are noted in the text).



Q : Why was this group called rec.sport.soccer?

A : rec.sport.football was already used by devotees of 
gridiron.  The USENET, being a US based facility, 
favoured football to be used in association with 
american football.  rec.sport.soccer grew out of 
rec.sport.misc and big thanks go to Hans Huttel for 
giving us our own group which was born unto the Internet 
in December 1989.  Further origins of the word 'soccer' 
is in the WHY SOCCER? section (Section 5).

Q : How many people are there on this group and what 
kind of traffic in terms of articles has it got?

A : Nobody knows how many people read r.s.s, there are 
many silent readers and you will see articles from all 
over the globe.  Current stats (2006) suggest well over 
100 regular contributors who post more than 5 articles a 
month.  This can rise to a thousand posters for the 
duration of an important event such as the FIFA World 

Q. Should I post scorelines of just completed games in 

A. Imagine you've just seen a stupendous game and you 
are keen to post the result, or your team has won an 
important game against a detested rival and you want to 
crow about it.  Now imagine that you are a fan at the 
other end of the globe and are looking forward to the 
telecast which will be shown a day or two later. Rather 
than expecting the second fan to desist from the reading 
RSS for the duration and having the articles pile up, a 
little care by the person who posts the score is 
appropriate.  In RSS we have a policy of not putting the 
scoreline in the header, or even hinting at the result 
such as "Arsenal won the Cup".  The convention is to 
post [R] Marseille v Milan in the header.  The [R] warns 
readers that the post contains a result.  They can avoid 
reading it if they are still waiting for a game to be 
televised and don't wish to know the result of the game. 
When you're happy about a result it's often difficult to 
resist or to remember. But please try and contain scores 
in the body of the article and avoid hints in the 

Q : Where can I get information on the league of a 
particular country?

A : Many of the major leagues, and some of the minor 
ones, have regular updates posted in r.s.s.  
Occasionally you will see the acronym RSSSF used in 
rec.sport.soccer.  RSSSF is the rec.sport.soccer 
statistics foundation. It has a comprehensive website 
that contains up-to-date and historical information for 
all the major and most of the minor leagues in the 
world. To access this site go to http://rsssf.com/

For scores of games under way there are many websites 
that contain text commentary or score updates. One of 
these is http://www.livescore.com/

Q : What do I do if I am desperate for a particular 

A : Again unless it is an obscure match the result will 
almost certainly be found on the internet somewhere.  If 
it is really important to you, try posting a request in 
r.s.s.  Someone may respond, again, we have readers from 
all over the world.

Q : Does RSS hold any prediction leagues or tipping 

A : Fantasy leagues, prediction and tipping competitions 
are currently held for major European club competitions 
and international events such as the World Cup or 
European Championships. Details are usually posted in 
r.s.s. before the league starts or an international 
tournament is played. Best to get in early as numbers 
are limited, especially in fantasy leagues.

Q. Does RSS have a website?

A. The RSSSF Archive has a best of RSS page with the 
best articles from the previous two decades. If you see 
an article you think should be on the best of RSS page 
email the maintainer of the page. See 

Q. Who is the best player in the world?

A. Always a problematic question. So RSS gives its own 
international player of the year award. Voters choose 
from a list of eligible players and rank 5 players in 
order. The vote is held every January. After the votes 
are tallied the rec.sport.soccer Player of the Year is 
awarded in February (for the previous calendar year). 
See http://www.rsssf.com/rssbest/rsspoy-overview.html 
for more details. The previous winners of the award are:

   1992:     MARCO VAN BASTEN, Milan AC, The Netherlands
   1993:     ROBERTO BAGGIO, Juventus FC, Italy
   1994:     ROMµRIO, CR Flamengo, Brazil
   1995:     GEORGE WEAH, Milan AC, Liberia
   1996:     RONALDO, FC Barcelona, Brazil
   1997:     RONALDO, FC Internazionale, Brazil
   1998:     ZINEDINE ZIDANE, Juventus FC, France
   1999:     RIVALDO, FC Barcelona, Brazil
   2000:     LUIS FIGO, Real Madrid CF, Portugal
   2001:     MICHAEL OWEN, Liverpool FC, England
   2002:     RONALDO, Real Madrid CF, Brazil
   2003:     PAVEL NEDVED, Juventus FC, Czech Republic
   2004:     RONALDINHO, FC Barcelona, Brazil
   2005:     RONALDINHO, FC Barcelona, Brazil

Q. Why is my country ranked number 49 in the world when 
any reasonable thinking person knows they should be in 
the top 10?

A. Good question. Many in r.s.s. exhibit disbelief when 
the official rankings are released monthly by FIFA. Some 
r.s.s. regulars have pondered this problem and devised 
their own ranking systems in opposition to the official 
Regular posters of rankings include:

AQB (Myk Cameron): http://www.image.co.nz/aqb/
ELO (Kirill): http://www.eloratings.net/

Q. Are there any other guidelines for how I should 
behave on r.s.s.?

A. Rather than spend half the FAQ on usenet etiquette it 
is better to summarise and point you to the web for a 
more comprehensive explanation of how usenet works. In 
summary there are etiquette guidelines for usenet that 
most group members are asked to follow lest usenet 
become unusable. A good guide can be found at 
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/primer/part1/  From this 
page, the general things to remember are as follows:

   Be careful what you say about others.
   Be brief.
   Your postings reflect upon you; be proud of them.
   Use descriptive titles
   Think about your audience.
   Only post a message once.
   Summarize what you are following up.
   Double-check follow-up newsgroups and distributions.
   Be careful about copyrights and licenses.
   Cite appropriate references.
   When summarising, summarise.
   Do not put spoilers (results of games) in headers.
   There's not much point to a spelling flame.
      Your language might not be the first language of
      the person you are criticising.
   Don't overdo signatures.
   Limit line length to 80 characters or less.
   Do not use Usenet as an advertising medium.
   Avoid posting to multiple newsgroups (cross-posting).



Q. What is FIFA?

A. FIFA is the 'Federation Internationale de Football 
Association', the international federation of national 
football associations. FIFA is the international ruling 
body of our game and the organiser of World Cups.

See http://www.fifa.com/ for details


A. This refers to the World Championship held every 4 
years since 1930 (there were no 1942 or 1946 
championships).  Sometimes the year of the championship 
is affixed (eg WC'90), and is sometimes referred to by 
the name of the host (eg Italia 90 or USA 94).  Only 
seven teams have won this tournament, Uruguay (1930, 
'50), Italy ('34, '38, '82), Germany ('54, '74, '90), 
Brazil ('58, '62,'70, '94, '02), England ('66), 
Argentina ('78, '86) and France ('98).

See http://www.fifaworldcup.com/ for full results and 
historical information for previously held World Cups.

Q. How is qualification decided for the WORLD CUP?

A. For the next World Cup, the continental allocations 
of berths for the 32 team tournament to be held in 
Germany in June-July 2006 were as follows:

   EUROPE: 14 (including the hosts Germany)
   AFRICA: 5
   ASIA: 4.5
   OCEANIA: 0.5

After qualification within confederations and playoffs 
between confederations, the following teams qualified 
for the 2006 World Cup:

EUROPE: Croatia, Czech Republic, England, France, 
Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia & 
Montenegro, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine.
AFRICA: Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, Tunisia.
SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay.
ASIA: Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea.
Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, United States.
OCEANIA: Australia

Q. What does UEFA mean?

A. l'Union des associations europ‚ennes de football (The 
Union of European Football Associations).

Q. How can I find out how qualification is determined 
for the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup?

A. Rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel you're 
much better off having a look at Bert Kassies' website. 
On this site you will find everything about the 
calculation of coefficients and rankings used for the 
qualification and seeding of teams for the Champions 
League and the UEFA Cup. The following very useful 
general information is available: a database with all 
results and rankings, graphs of ranking data, a 
selection of published articles, links to other football 
sites, a forum for discussions on European Cup football, 
you can search for match results and a good history is 
available with the formats of competitions in previous 
years, and an overview of all clubs participating in 
European Cups since 1955. The web address of Bert's site 
is http://www.xs4all.nl/~kassiesa/bert/uefa/

Q. What is the G14?

A. The "Group of 14" was formed in the year 2000 by 14 
major European clubs in an attempt to protect their own 
financial interests. The idea came about because the 
clubs receive no compensation for contracted players who 
are injured when called up for international duty by 
their country. They also receive no financial benefit 
from tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, although 
many of the players involved in the tournament are 
"assets" of their clubs acording to the members of the 
G14. The opposing argument is that players who are 
called up for international duty increase in value if 
they play well for their country, leading to large 
transfer profits for their clubs. Another suspicion is 
that the clubs are planning to set up their own league 
in opposition to the UEFA European Champions League. 
Unsurprisingly, UEFA is opposed to the plan, as is FIFA.

The clubs involved are almost all former Champions Cup 
or Champions League winners. From the original 14 the 
member clubs have since increased to 18. The current 
member clubs (2006) are Arsenal, Liverpool & Manchester 
Utd (England), Marseille, PSG & Lyon (France), Bayern 
Munich, Bayer Leverkusen & Borussia Dortmund (Germany), 
Juventus, Inter Milan & AC Milan (Italy), Ajax & PSV 
Eindhoven (Netherlands), Porto (Portugal), and 
Barcelona, Real Madrid & Valencia (Spain). Champions 
League winners who were not invited include Red Star 
Belgrade (1991), Steaua Bucarest (1986), Hamburger SV 
(1983), Aston Villa (1982), Nottingham Forest (1979-80), 
Feyenoord Rotterdam (1970), Celtic Glasgow (1967) & 
Benfica Lisbonne (1961-62) (contributions by 7h@ch, 
THEPOSH, Aegis and ruud).

Q. What is CONMEBOL?

A. Confederacion sudamericana de futbol, the South 
American Football Federation.  The acronym was not CSF 
or similar because the organisers wanted to use the 
first, middle and last letters rather than just the 


By Karel Stokkermans
(from http://www.rsssf.com/sacups/copalib.html)

The Copa Libertadores de Am‚rica (the Liberators Cup) is 
the most important South American club tournament, set 
up following the success of the European (Champions) 
Cup. Originally, each country entered one club (the 
national champions, though for Brazil the cup winners 
entered as there was no national league at the time). 
From 1966 on, each country entered two teams (apart from 
possibly the holders, which were exempt until the 
semifinals (second round) until the late eighties. Since 
1998, Mexican teams are invited; until 2003 they had to 
enter a preliminary round with the Venezolan 
participants. Since 2000, countries have more than two 
entries; the main tournament now has 32 slots (for 11 
countries), with a preliminary round involving 12 teams, 
of which 6 progress to the group stage (so in total, 38 
participants). In 1948, a Copa de Campeones was held in 
Santiago, won by Vasco da Gama of Brazil; this 
tournament has been recognised as a precursor of the 
Copa Libertadores by the South American Federation 

Q. What is the COPA AMERICA?

By Ll‚o: The Copa America has traditionally been a 
tournament between the 10 national teams representing 
the FA members of CONMEBOL, but since 1993 two invited 
teams from outside the region (usually Concacaf, but 
Japan entered the 1999 edition) also enter the 
tournament. Regularly played since 1917, this cup is one 
of the world's oldest international soccer events. 
Although it was officially played every 4 years (except 
for the 1971 edition, which was cancelled), there have 
been many special editions so that the frequency has not 
been constant. However, from 1987 to 2001 the tournament 
was played every two years. With the only exception of 
the 1975, '79, and '83 editions, which were played on a 
home-away basis, the tournament takes place in a host 
country. The most cups have been won by Argentina (14) 
and Uruguay (14), followed by Brazil (7), Paraguay (2), 
Peru (2), Bolivia (1) and Colombia (1), a total of 41.

Q. What is CONCACAF?

A. It is the confederation of North, Central American 
and Caribbean Football.


By Ll‚o: The Intercontinental Cup was a head-to-head 
tournament, on a home-away basis, held between the 
winners of the EC1 and the Copa Libertadores, played 
from 1960 to 1979. From 1980 until 2004, for sponsorship 
reasons, it was renamed the Toyota Cup and held as an 
one-off game in Japan (Tokyo, and later Yokohama). It 
passes itself off as the World Club Championship, and 
although it was effectively only open to teams from 
Europe and South America there is a fair amount of 
substance to the claim. South America held a lead of 22-
21 in terms of Cups won.

The FIFA World Club Championship is a tournament held 
between the continental champions from all FIFA member 
confederations. It was first held in 2000 in Brasil, but 
not originally as a replacement of the Toyota Cup and 
only came back in 2005 in Japan. The 2005 edition 
replaced the old Toyota Cup."

Q : Can I get a copy of the Laws of the Game anywhere?

A : Yes. The best place to find the Laws is the FIFA 
website as it is likely to be up-to-date. See:



5.  WHY SOCCER? (By Garry Archer)

I am an Englishman that has taken on himself a personal 
crusade to respond to comments regarding the use of the 
"American" word for football.  I have seen them over and 
over again on the worldwide computer news network, 
USENET, in its rec.sport.soccer newsgroup where I have 
been an active contributor for several years.

To love the game of football is to love its rich history 
also.  It particularly disturbs me when modern fans of 
the game less conversed in this history do not fully 
understand that the word "soccer" is an English -- NOT 
American -- word derived from the second syllable of the 
word "association".

"Soccer" was originally called "association football" 
during the formation of the Football Association in 
England in the 1860s.  This was to maintain a 
distinction from the other football game being organised 
in England at the same time based on the handling codes, 
whilst Association Football conformed to the dribbling 
codes.  The other football came to be known as "rugby" 
football, named after the Rugby School in England, where 
it is said that a certain young student, William Webb 
Ellis, picked up the ball in his hands during an 
association football  match and ran with it over the 
goal line.  Master Ellis asked his teacher, who was 
refereeing, if that was a goal.  The reply was, "No, but 
it was a jolly good 'try'", which is where one of the 
rugby scoring terms comes from.  Rugby Union was 
formally organised by 1871, but suffered another split 
by 1893 when Rugby League was formed.  I digress.

Near the end of 1863, Charles Wreford-Brown, who later 
became a notable official of the Football Association, 
was asked by some friends at Oxford whether he cared to 
join them for a game of "rugger" (rugby).  He is said to 
have refused, preferring instead to go for a game of 
"soccer" -- a play on the word "association".  The name 
caught on.

English public schoolboys love to nickname things, then 
as much as now.  The tendency is to add "er" to the end 
of many words.  Rugby [Union] Football became "rugby", 
and then "rugger".  Association Football was better know 
as "assoccer" and naturally evolved into "soccer" which 
is much easier for a schoolboy to say...

Therefore, the word "soccer" has been used in the mother 
country of all football-type games since at least the 
mid-19th century.  The word "football", however, was 
more descriptive of the game (i.e.  kicking a ball with 
the feet!) and was the term more frequently used.  The 
British exported the game, so naturally the word 
"football" was the name mostly used all over the world.  
In recent decades it has been noted that the word 
"soccer" is apparently increasing in usage.  The word 
"football" still appears in formal designations, 
however, in for example, Federation Internationale de 
Football Association (FIFA).  The word "soccer" is more 
commonly used in several countries around the world that 
play other forms of football.  Australians have 
Australian Football.  The Irish have Gaelic football.  
In the USA and Canada, of course, there is Gridiron 
football.  Rugby Union, Rugby League, Australian Rules, 
Gaelic, American and Canadian football all owe their 
roots to Association football.  With the exception of 
Gaelic Football, they all use an ovoid shaped ball.  
None is as popular around the world as Association 

"Football" is the world standard name for "soccer".  I 
always used the word "football" (and still do, wherever 
I can).  The word "soccer", however, is engrained into 
the origins of the modern game of association football 
as much as any other aspect of The Game much of the 
world enjoys today.

Finally, it must be remembered that British football, 
both association and rugby, had been organised in the 
19th century by people in the upper echelons of the 
English educational system, from "exotic" schools, 
colleges and universities as Harrow, Eton, Oxford and 
Cambridge, just for starters.  As I stated earler, 
students of the Victorian era, as much as now, loved 
nicknames and "soccer" and "rugger" were the accepted 
everyday names for those people.  These were sports for 

When the games were taken up by those less fortunate 
enough to have received the higher (and more expensive) 
levels of education the game of soccer became very 
popular with the masses.  Rugger, less so.  As the rules 
became increasingly divergent between the two sports, 
soccer became the people's sport and rugger remained 
more of a "gentleman's" game.  Ever heard the phrase, 
"Soccer is a gentleman's game played by ruffians and 
Rugby is a ruffian's game played by gentlemen"?

So "soccer" was a fanciful, gentleman's name for the 
sport.  The mere, common man started to call it 
"football" for the obvious reason that it's a game about 
a ball kicked with the foot.  The game, and the word, 
was exported by British workers, students and merchant 
and naval seamen all over the world in the latter 19th 
and early 20th century ...  and the name, and the game, 

I prefer to call it "footy" myself!

Yours in football,
Garry Archer



As of April 2006 the only current irc channel used 
regularly by RSS contributors is on the austnet network.

To access IRC you need IRC software.  The most popular 
versions are:

   MIRC (for PC)
   PIRCH98 (for PC)
   XCHAT (for Linux)
   IRCLE (for Apple)

These can found easily with a WWW search.  After 
downloading and installing the software you need to 
access the AUSTNET Network.  A list of available servers 
is kept at http://www.austnet.org/servers.php The 
current listing (April 2006) has the following servers:


Using the first server in the list above as an example, 
accessing the austnet network from your IRC software is 
as simple as typing the command:

/server netspace.vic.au.austnet.org

After accessing the server, the following channels are 
available for RSS users:

#wcrss  (during world cups)

You can join a channel by typing the command:

/join #rss     or
/join #wcrss