From: steve d (stephen.davies@bbsrc.ac.uk)
Subject: World Cup Future Foretold
Date:  Mar 7, 1997

World Cup - The Future Foretold

1998: France

Striking French onion farmers blockade all ports of entry as a protest
against cheap imports. The 31 other teams are therefore unable to arrive
for the tournament. As a concession to the farmers for allowing the
World Cup to continue, FIFA agree to play all games with an onion
instead of a football. For the first time the phrase "put it in the
onion bag" has true meaning. The French squad, being forewarned of this,
had secretly practiced their skills with this gallic vegetable for 6
months thus ensuring they walk away with the Cup for the first time.

2002: Japan/South Korea

Chaos ensues at the opening ceremony when a Japanese performing dog
troupe is kidnapped and barbecued in a light salsa sauce by members of a
Korean drum corp. Due to the resultant increase in tensions between the
countries FIFA decide to play all games in the cargo deck of an oil
supertanker moored midway between Tokyo and Seoul; the first maritime
World Cup is won by Liberia who use their intimate knowledge of
supertanker infrastructure to break Africa=92s duck.

2006: South Africa

The teams play for the new Havelange Trophy as Paul "sixteen bellies"
Gascoigne had eaten the previous trophy during the World Cup draw.
Generally regarded as the greatest World Cup with a return to the
classical 2-3-5 formation. In a pulsating final, England beat Brazil 7-5
in extra time. Alan Shearer in his final game for England scores 6
goals. Ronaldo in unavailable for the final due to filming commitments
for a Nike advert.

2010: Colombia

In order to counter the growing drug menace in sport, FIFA decide to
level the playing field by introducing a rule that each player must have
a minimum level of stimulants in their bloodstream. Italy=92s Diego
Maradona Junior refuses to take his mandatory dose and is sent home. He
is lauded throughout the world, even receiving an honorary knighthood
from King Bobby Robson the first of England. The Cup is won by Bolivia
who are the only team used to playing on such a high.

2014: Netherlands

Global warming causes widespread flooding in the low countries. The
World Cup is canceled and awarded to Wales as they are the only country
named after an aquatic mammal. A late attempt by the Argentine President
Mazzarelli to change his country=92s name to Porpoiseland is rejected.

2018: Knock-out World Cup

The first and only knock-out World Cup. World-wide TV audience records
are set for the 1st round draw. Brazil v Germany is the first game out
of the hat, but due to the previously unrevealed 5th FIFA directive,
these two teams must never meet in the WC, and are therefore eliminated.
Elsewhere Scotland maintain their impressive 1st round record by losing
3-1 to the Vatican City. Argentina defeat Uruguay in the final and the
Argentine President Mazzarelli is re-elected for his third term in
office in the wake of national rejoicing.

2022: Virtual World Cup

FIFA decides to play a computerised WC as no country is prepared to pay
the required bribe to become host. Thanks to the wizardry of
mathematicians at U.C. Berkeley (who the previous year had published a
712 page proof that Pele was better than Maradona) Gibraltar beat Spain
1-0 in the final; the only goal being scored by a Barbary ape.

2026: Caesar=92s Palace

The USA win their first Cup - but only after incorporating Brazil and
Argentina as the 57th and 58th states the previous year. Devious Yanks.

2030: Atlantis

As a boost to the unity of the European Federation, President
Stokkermans declares that Europe will only send one team to the WC.
Unfortunately Norway win the Eurovision song contest and are therefore
allowed to send their football team to the newly risen city of Atlantis.
In tactics harking back to 1994, the Norwegian footballers forget to
cross the halfway line and fail to score a single goal. The final is won
by a team of genetically engineered footballers incorporating the best
qualities voted for by RSSers:

the intelligence of Pele
the dribbling skills of Maradona
the vision of Platini
the turning circle of Cruyff
the tackling of Moore
and the drinking power of Best

2034: The end of football........

The World is blown apart in revenge by a race of football-loving Aliens
who can no longer afford the pay-per-view fees charged by the Havelange
Foundation for the WC.