World Cup 87 - RP Thread

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Founded: Jul 06, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby Murphtannia » Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:14 am

Matchday 10

Going into Matchday’s 10 and 11 most fans knew that this was Murphy’s last chance to save his job, it has to be said when Murphtannia finished 6th last season, and with Murphy masterminding another league title this season, nobody expected this to happen.

The game was away to HUElavia, the only team Murphtannia had beaten up until that point, despite HUElavian form being terrible initially they had picked up again, and they now held a grudge, the travelling Murphtannian fans knew this was a game they were unlikely to enjoy.

As the game started Murphtannia were instantly on the back foot, HUElavia running riot, chance after chance being saved by Ball or hitting the post or a lucky deflection, until the 10th minute when Pae blasted it over Ball and into the net, leaving the 26 year old to pick it out of the net, I remember hearing the HUElavians go nuts, and being is disbelief as I sat there with my laptop, watching Murphtannia take 15 shots in just 10 minutes.

The defensive worries continued, in the 23rd minute Pae drove in a low pass, with Bridges just failing completely to mark her, before Mantovani-Jardim hit it into the bottom left, Ball was so close, painstakingly close, but it was 2-0, Murphtannia had faced 14 shots in 23 minutes, something had clearly gone wrong.

Murphtannia proceeded to put in the worst performance of football I have ever seen, in all honestly the post kept this at 2-0 for as long as it did, however Mantovania-Jardim would make it 3-0, an easy pass from Fernandez-Roux gave Mantovania-Jardim the chance to dribble past the defence, hell she made it look easy, before blasting it into the top right pasta diving Ball.

After that the team and away fans were relieved to hear the half time whistle, at this rate the FA might just sack Murphy without giving him his final game.

However I don’t know what Murphy said to his team at half time, but it must’ve been one hell of a speech because Murphtannia in the second half came out rearing to go. While the HUElavian fans continued to celebrate the so far successful game, Murphtannia worked their asses off, trying to win every second ball, Jude Elliott was brought on the replace Bridges and pushed further forward as an attacking wing back, while Styler was moved to a deeper position to collect the ball.

This change proved a successful one, with Styler dropping deeper to collect the ball, dribbling at the defence before being closed down by C.Almeida, but using some rather impressive footwork he layed off the pass to the on rushing Marley, who has been desperate to add an impact to the team, and that he did when he scored a low curving goal, quite wonderful to watch, making it 3-1.

Of course the game got really interesting when Fernandex-Roux, who assisted HUElavia’s latest goal, slid into Pole as he was collecting the ball from Murphy, there were calls for a red but the players had to settle for yellow. Murphy was given the free kick, and proved why as he curved the ball around the wall, hitting the crossbar and going in. 3-2, game on.

The HUElavian fans suddenly got very silent after that goal, as Murphtannia started to more and more belief, but it proved fruitless, as Ocampo and Braz-Bitencourt did a quick passing move for Braz-Bitencourt to hit it past Ball and to make it 4-2, game over, and now all attention was on the next game at home to Pays Den Haut, Murphy needed a win if he was to save his job.

Matchday 11

“Hello and welcome to Matchday 11, I’m your commentator Bob Smith and joining me today is Gary O’Reilly, welcome Garry” Bob says struggling to hear over the fans

Gary then speaks “Thanks Bob, it’s a privilege to be here at the world cup, and it’s a big day for the manager and for the team”

Bob then speaks again “Yes this is it, anything other than a win here and Murphy is out, we’ll just have to see if he can do it, he’s playing Pays Den Haut, who used their home advantage very well to secure a 0-0 draw against Murphtannia, but can the team currently bottom of the table repeat that here at the Murphtannia stadium”

Gary speaks again, getting more excited as time goes on “Yanno Bob I think Murphtannia stand a good chance here, hell Pays Den Haut didn’t even bring any away fans, which isn;t going to help, anyway now for the starting lineup as the two teams walk out onto the pitch.”

“First the home team

In goal is Adam Ball, despite conceding 4 goals in the last game he played well, and will see if he can make a good performance count here

There are some changes in the back line, following the poor defensive showing away to HUElavia, at RWB starts Jude Elliott,who did well when he came off the bench, starting at CB alongside Pallett is Kai Leafy, and at LWB remains Cartlidge.

The midfield remains the same as last time, with Jenkins, Styler and Owen retaining their places

And finally the front 2, Murphy keeping his place however Alex Saunders comes in for another start, with Pole being on a bit of a goal drought.”

“Now for the away team

In goal is Peirre-Luc, the Swordsmith played well against Murphtannia last time, can he keep it up?

In defense is Yan and Loic, with the midfield consisting of Felix-Antoine, Jean Sebestian, Xavier, Bruno, Jean-Francois, Samuel and Serge, clearly Jean-Claude is looking to overrun the midfield with superior numbers, build from there, an interesting tactic we’ll have to see how it plays out

The sole striker is Jean-guy.”

First Half

[13th minute] “Murphtannia have been playing pretty well so far, Pay Den Haut haven’t seen much of the ball, mostly absorbing Murphtannian pressure, but Murphtannia are on the attack again now

Cartlidge picks up the ball, he’s running down the wing, what can he do with this?, plays the 1,2 with Jenkins, Cartlidge has gotten behind the defense now but Serge is marking him pretty well, oh and Cartlidge has nut megged Serge, cartlidge whips in the cross, Murphy is in the box waiting OH AND IT’S IN, WHAT A GOAL AS MURPHY VOLLEYS IT, AND THE BALL CRASHES INTO THE TOP RIGHT

The fans are going nuts, the players are all hugging Murph, Murphy has joined the fray, is that the goal that saves his manager’s job, Murphtannia 1-0 Pay Den Haut” Says Gary over the Mic

[35th minute] “Since going ahead Murphtannia have been dominant, getting a whopping 97% of possession, 100% pass accuracy, this isn’t even a contest, Murphy is running now, he passes it to Jenkins who shoots from outside the box,but it’s wide, it remains 1-0” Bob says clearly in a good mood

[Half time] “A solid half of football from Murphtannia, they should be more than 1-0 ahead but it’s looking good right now, but can they hold on?” says Gary

Bob then speaks “I think they can, Pays Den Haut haven’t offered anything going forward, they’re bene trapped in their 6 yeard box let alone their own half”

Second Half

[60th minute] “Murphtannia have continued their excellent performance, the entire team doing their jobs well, but for the first time this game Pays Den Haut are on the attack, Serge picking up the ball, he’s been Pay Den Haut’s best player so far, he carries it out wide, crosses, Cartlidge can’t jump high enough to head it, GOALLLLL, Jean-guy heads it into the back of the net to make it 1-1, and the team look crushed

Wait the ref is using VAR, IT’S OVERTURNED, GUY WAS OFFSIDE, MURPHTANNIA 1-0” Bob says

[80th minute] “Somehow Pays Den Haut have managed to hold on here, Murphtannia have been unlucky, either with good saves or hitting the post, but Jenkins has the ball, he passes it to Styler, who passes it to Owen, patient build up play here, Owen back to Styler, who finds an excellent through ball into the path of Alex Saunders, who controls the ball, shoots, GOAOLLOLLLLL, SAUNDERS SCORES TO MAKE IT MURPHTANNIA 2-0, SAUNDERS HAS REALLY IMPRESSED THIS GAME AND SURELY THAT SEALS THE WIN FOR MURPHTANNIA NOW, BOB IS SPEECHLESS, MAYBE MURPHY WILL BE KEEPING HIS JOB AFTER ALL

Murphtannia 2 Pays Fen Haut 0” Gary says practically screaming, some might say this is an over reaction given the opposition, however this may end up being only our second win.

[91st minute] “Final minute of added time, Murphtannia looking for one more chance, Jenkins plays an easy pass to Elliott, who decides to shoot from outside of the box and


Murphtannia 3 Pays Den Haut 0”

Well there you have it, Murphtannia’s second win to take them into 7th place, and to save Murphy’s job, the question is though, for how long?”

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Squornshelan Remnant States
Posts: 280
Founded: Jun 25, 2018
Left-wing Utopia

WC87 MD10 & 11

Postby Squornshelan Remnant States » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:18 am

Three Things
Salwan Mynhier

Starting the second half of qualfiying didn't go anything like anyone had hoped. Consecutive losses to Southwest Eastnorth and Krytenia are a serious setback to say the least. With the Black-and-Reds now sitting eight points behind Poafmersia for second place, their hopes of qualification are now slim in the extreme. So, what the hell happened, and what happens next?

  1. Attacking woes are still here
    The Black-and-Reds have now failed to tally a goal in their last three matches. During that time, they have earned just a single point in the standings, tumbling from a close third place just behind the group leaders, to a now distant fourth, with fifth-place Gyatso-Kai right on our heels. The opposing defenses in those contests managed to successfully isolate the various players in the attack from each other, shutting off service to Petrov in particular, but also inhibiting movement down the wing. There is no simply solution to the problem, and some credit must, of course, be given to that opposition. Krytenia's defense in particular played smotheringly well, as our own back line did, excepting a few minutes late in that match. One thing that is certain is that off the ball movement has become stagnant. It's all well and good to praise the opposing defense for their excellent marking and closing down, but the Black-and-Reds have not been making life difficult or complicated enough for them. Passing options have not been present, or have been closely marked by the time the ball arrives. The result is a slow moving attack that is sluggish to change its point of focus, allowing plenty of time for the defense to reset its shape. Attacking movement and creativity is going to have to improve drastically, and players will need to be much more decisive on the ball going forward.

  2. Where do we go from Here?
    Groothuis certainly seemed to have things running pretty smoothly only a month ago. Sure the attack was a little anemic, but you had to figure that some minor adjustments there would bring things in line. After all, possession numbers were good, and the defense was holding strong, with Krieven generally doing what he needed to clean up anything that made it through the back line. Situations like this, where a team looks like they ought to be winning but can't find a way to finish, are probably the reason why most of us aren't football managers. Petrov has been fine, the defense decent, the rest of the attack . . . Well, you've seen them, what do you think? There's mere days remaining until this team hosts a two-loss Poafmersia team in a match they absolutely must win to keep any hope at all alive, however slim. So let's all be Anne-Sophie Groothuis for a moment. Remember, you're going for stern and businesslike, not outright angry and humorless. Yes, I know it's a fine line. Throw in some intense self-criticism and we're there. Ok, using our Groothuis powers, we can now predict that . . . the lineup will remain more or less unchanged, but the team is going to remember this week of training sessions for the rest of their lives. At least that seems her most likely course of action to me. She might try Gerstlauer at striker, since Petrov has apparently gone cold, but it has to be said that it isn't all Lyz's fault. Personally I'd like to see a more dedicated attacking mid like Damnagoras or Rebljeten get an opportunity up front. Before you start rage-commenting Megabrantid fans, I'm not calling for Takala to be benched. I just think he'd likely be more comfortable and effective playing something closer to his natural position. Whether you call it attacking mid, center forward, deep-lying striker, false nine or takilante, Takala definitely has the skill set to do the job, but he hasn't lined up there week in and week out for years like Rebljeten, or grown up in the position like Damnagoras.
    I've seen all kinds of proposals on twii.tur lately, each more idiotic than the last (sorry folks but I calls em like I sees em). No, firing Lomidan out of a cannon and naming Damnagoras captain is not going to single-handedly save the attack. No, bringing back Zoban Ajao, who is coming off probably the worst two seasons of his career, will not fix things either. I feel for the big guy, but he hasn't shown that he's got the kind of form to make a difference for the Black-and-Reds right now. Being the feature striker at Traal should suit him though, and we'll have to check in with him in a season's time. Changing the formation to get a different mix of personnel on the field holds a little more promise, but the 3-3-4 proposal that seems to be gaining momentum is just kind of dumb. Yes, as a nation we seem to have a knack for turning out talented strikers. No, putting all of them on the field at once is not smart. Come out like that against Poafmersia and Farfadillis and we'll get absolutely carved up. Hell even Caryton could probably score against those tactics.

  3. Why do Confederates only play well for their Clubs?
    It's really baffling. You look around at this corps of midfielders and strikers, the teams they play on and the roles they play for those clubs, and you are left with a really hard-to-answer question. Why is the national team so bad, when our clubs are so good? Petrov's rise to become the featured striker for Moths is well known, but she's hardly the only one out there making a statement in club ball. Take the captain for instance. True, Lomidan and Ibini as a whole haven't been as good as they were just a few seasons ago, but this is a player who was named to the Premiership first eleven in consecutive seasons, earning his way back into the national team and, indeed, the captaincy. Or what about his companions in midfield? Takala is fresh off captaining Megabrantid to a Challengers' Cup title, while Hashemi has been a steadily rising star on an excellent Anomalies roster. Hell even Hagaz and Leichhardt did well enough to make the Liga B. On the wings, Vladcik and Naqvi have likewise been excellent players for excellent clubs. And just behind Petrov on the striker depth chart, TPL golden boot winner Gerstlauer waits in reserve. This team is so much less than the sum of its parts, and no one is able to figure out why. Have we somehow become a nation of mediocre footballers who only bring their best effort when being paid for it, while the hyper-capitalist Imperium fields a team of patriots who play their hearts out for the privilege of representing their country? Sad to say, it appears that might be the case.

SRS Qualifying Schedule and Results:
MD1  SWE 1-2 SRS @ First Coast Stadium (cap. 33,000), Auberlin, SWE
MD2 SRS 2-1 KRY @ Megabrantid Financial Field (cap. 69,245), Brantisvogan, Megabrantis, SRS
MD3 PFA 3-2 SRS @ Libira National Stadium (cap. 68,000), Fiskadaha City, PFA
MD4 SRS 1-0 CAR @ New Rudlit Arena (cap. 31,200), Rudlit, West Flania, SRS
MD5 WZA 2-3 SRS @ Edge Hill, Bradley, WZA
MD6 SRS 1-2 FFD @ Bridger Lane (cap. 72,406), Damogran, Algolia, SRS
MD7 GKI 2-3 SRS @ Stadia Capital (cap. 78,050), Beijing, Jing, GKI
MD8 SRS 2-0 BGJ @ Synesoft Arena (cap. 38,600), Syneca, Sivoliva, SRS
MD9 SNB 0-0 SRS @ [redacted]
MD10 SRS 0-1 SWE @ Reinallt Arena (cap. 41,230), Golgafrincham, Megabrantis, SRS
MD11 KRY 1-0 SRS @ Oxley Park, Emberton, KRY
MD12 SRS v PFA @ Slavnarzeczpospolitastadion (cap. 61,230), Lublova, Molvania, SRS
MD14 SRS v WZA @ Olympiastad (cap. 47,550), Arkintoofle, Megabrantis, SRS
MD16 SRS v GKI @ Castle Street (cap. 57,300), Jaglan, Algolia, SRS
MD18 SRS v SNB @ Ralph Wilson Memorial Stadium (cap. 48,700), Han Dold City, Han Dold, SRS
The Confederacy of Squornshelan Remnant States
True Democratic Successor to the nation of Squornshelous
Trigram: SRS
KPB Ranking: 15.10 (60th)
World Cup:
Did not Qualify: WC81, WC82, WC83, WC84, WC85, WC86, WC87
Cup of Harmony:
Quarterfinalist: CoH73, CoH75
Round of 16: CoH74
Round of 32: CoH79
First Round: CoH76, CoH77
Third Place: IAC8
Quarterfinal: IAC10
Second Round: IAC6, IAC7
First Round: IAC9
BoF68 Quarterfinalist

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Founded: Mar 22, 2019
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Flavovespia » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:25 am


2 goal comeback snatches away 2 points at the end


Flavovespia were denied 3 points and a 3rd consecutive goal, by a heartbreaking final minute equaliser by the hosts Central Shaneville. With other results less than favourable for Flavovespia in the battle for 2nd place, their qualifying hopes suffered another sting, with less and less games to make up lost ground.

There were only 2 changes for Flavovespia after the 0-2 victory in Nacaltora. Daniel Lansdell, after a debut goal, starts. An enforced change, with Tony Gardner ruled out, still suffering slightly from the blow to the head he took in that match. Scott Vaughan replaces David Lyons at left full back, Young looking to manage minutes of the younger full back Lyons, and to be perhaps a little more defensive against Central Shaneville.

Despite being the away side, Flavovespia looked the more assured in the opening stages. There was a confidence from the previous 2 games it seemed, and Steven Hall in particular was keen to make amends for what was a sluggish start to the qualifiers. Within 10 minutes, he’d fired just wide from 20 metres out, and nearly played in Ramon Martin, James Penford doing well to come off his line and smother the ball before Martin could get there and shoot.

However against the run of play, Central Shaneville took the lead in the 14th minute. A long clearance found Spencer Owen. A quick ball back towards the centre found David Vujanic with space to move forward into. Into the box he went, and before Ian Cohen or Daniel Lansdell could stop him, Vujanic placed a shot down low, across the goal and beyond the reach of David Meehan. 1-0 to Central Shaneville, the hosts taking the lead, Flavovespia paying for not getting a goal in their early dominant spell.

Flavovespia’s task to get a win had been made more difficult against a host side, now with the lead and likely to more men back. They needed an equaliser as quickly as possible. Thankfully, it took them 12 minutes to achieve that. Flavovespia passed the ball around looking for an opening. It was eventually James King who played in Steven Hall. The captain got goalside of the defence, then from a tight angle fired in. Maybe he could’ve passed it back towards Coleman or Martin, but it didn’t matter, his shot beat Penford at the near post for the equaliser.
Hall would get his and Flavovespia’s 2nd in the 35th minute. A long ball forward from David Blythe left the defence and goalkeeper in no-mans land, with neither really sure who should cover it. It fell to Hall with Penford belatedly coming out to cover. Not quickly enough however, as Hall hit it first time on the volley, watching the ball drop over his shoulder before rifling home the shot. Penford had no chance to react to the speed of the shot, as it smashed into the back of the net. Flavovespia led now, and for all his problems earlier on in the qualifiers, Hall was on fire now.

Just before half time Flavovespia got their 3rd. Scott Coleman had the ball at the edge of the box, with Luke Graham covering. Graham covered the potential shooting option, leading to Coleman to try and whip in a ball back across goal. Anthony Wessels got to the cross first, but it deflected off his shin, not his boot, and straight into the goal. An unfortunate own goal for the Central Shaneville defender, right before half time. Flavovespia were 1-3 up at the break, and seemed relatively confident.

The second half was, to borrow an old cliché one where “the next goal really matters”. A 4th for Flavovespia and the game was almost certainly beyond reach. A 2nd for Central Shaneville, and the comeback was on. For many minutes however, it just seemed like there were no goals coming at either end of the pitch. Flavovespia weren’t sending many men forward, leaving Central Shaneville with a sea of yellow shirts to try and part. Flavovespia had a few half chances here and there, but Penford wasn’t tested too badly, at least for now.

The game which seemed to be fizzing out in excitement was thrown back into life in the 82nd minute. Josh Smith had the ball some 25 metres out. The Flavovespian defence were keeping the line strong, aiming to prevent a run into a box. Their pressing was insufficient however, when Josh Smith hit a long, powerful shot. It whipped through the air, past Meehan right hand, and into the net. With 8 minutes plus stoppage time to go, Central Shaneville had a route back into the game.

The minutes ticked on, ever slower it seemed, before 5 minutes of injury time started, to the chagrin of Flavovespia. Almost as the 5th minute of injury time was up, the ball went out for a corner. Everyone went up for this one. The box was crowded, so crowded that the jostling and shuffling nearly turned into a kerfuffle, delaying the corner. Flavovespian fans booed, wanting the whistle to go. The ball came in to the box, took a deflection off of Shane Wray and then David Clark, before bouncing at Danny Stanair. He stabbed it over the line, beyond the sliding Lansdell on the line, to equalise. A point at the death for Central Shaneville, with the very last kick of the game. Heartbreak for Flavovespia, who dropped 2 points in the final seconds.

The 2 points lost for Flavovespia are another blow in their qualifying hopes. TJUN-ia won 1-2 at Busoga Islands, leaving Flavovespia 7 points off of 2nd, and TJUN-ia themselves now 4 points clear in the battle for 2nd. Cassadaigua kept up a perfect away streak, winning 1-2 at Acronius. Muralos leap Flavovespia, with a 1-4 win at Nacaltora. Nacaltora, still without a point, are now all but eliminated from World Cup Qualification. Finally, a 0-0 draw with Hispinas hosting Havynwilde means the latter now have a mammoth task to make it into the World Cup.


Flavovespia lack a sting in their tail in the Hornet’s Nest


Needing an unlikely result to get their qualifying hopes back on track, Flavovespia couldn’t match Cassadaigua in the capital, and fell to a 1-4 defeat. That result, whilst not statistically eliminating Flavovespia from the Top 2, means a quite improbable set of results are now needed to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

Only one change was made from the side who drew 3-3 at Central Shaneville. David Lyons returned in place of Scott Vaughan, the latter doing okay but not enough to quite warrant staying in the side. The return of Tony Gardner was ruled out 24 hours before the game, when the defender failed to clear the concussion protocol. Young stuck with Daniel Lansdell and Ian Cohen, instead of returning his old club defender May into the team.

To stand a chance, Flavovespia needed to keep it close, especially at the back in the opening stages. They unfortunately failed to do so. Rachel Schanke’s first chance within 60 seconds should’ve been a warning the Cassadagan team were going to be a threat from the get go. The warning wasn’t heeded, and 8 minutes in, quick passing opened up the Flavovespian defence. Rachel Schanke got between Lansdell and Cohen, and had a clear sight of goal. Schanke was on target, and Meehan wasn’t likely to save those kind of shots. Cassadaigua had an early opener, exactly the worst kind of start Flavovespia needed, the side looking to rebound from that painful missed win at Central Shaneville.

Flavovespia already seemed out of ideas, and the clock had barely ticked over into double digits. For the next 20 minutes or so, they struggled to move the ball out of their own half. Ambitious long balls seemed to be more of a danger to the crowd than the Cassadagan defence. Certainly it was a frustrating game for the home side, in particular the front men of Flavovespia, rarely getting a sniff of the ball.

Just after the half-hour mark, Cassadaigua had a free kick around 30 metres out. Flavovespia lined up to protect a shot at goal, but instead the ball was whipped out towards the near post for a header. Meehan was at his far post, and left a large part of the goal vulnerable, allowing Katie Standish a target to aim her header at. Her header was well aimed, Meehan was unable to get across goal quickly enough, and the lead was doubled. Few watching the game could argue it was undeserved.

By half time, Flavovespia had only registered 2 shots, one on target. The match was all going the way of Cassadaigua, and some argued that 0-2 flattered Flavovespia somewhat. In a “sink or swim” game for Flavovespia, they were sinking without trace. Few really expected Flavovespia to win this game, but they at least wanted a closer match than they were seeing.

Cassadaigua were controlling much of the pay in the early exchanges of the second half, but Flavovespia were at least able to defend more effectively. Alexander May had finally returned to the side, and was already keen to make an impression. The defender was able to toe the line between strong against dirty play, and became a handful for the Cassadagan attack to deal with. David Clark as well, after a relatively mediocre second half, was also breaking up the links between midfield and attack well.

Hope for Flavovespia returned in the 65th minute when they finally got onto the scoresheet. Scott Coleman had been kept relatively quiet, but got into the box with the ball at feet. A quick shuffle of the feet outfoxed Kimberly Carson, leaving Coleman with a good angle to take a shot on goal. On target and with good speed, the shot beat Tiffany Nelson and was into the net. 1-2 now, Flavovespia had a chance at a comeback, no matter how slim the odds had looked.

Cassadaigua were a bit rattled following the goal, with some of their play becoming a bit more scrappy. Ramon Martin was nearly played in following a loose ball, but Katie Standish did just enough to hold off the striker before more help could arrive, and clear the ball away. However Cassadaigua dealt with the pressure of a one goal lead in the best way, making it a two goal lead. The header by Madison McClain in the box didn’t look that threatening, but it looped over the head of David Meehan, and it fell just under the bar and in. Cassadaigua had snuffed out the hopes of Flavovespia just as they were growing.

Madison McClain finished off the win shortly before the end of the game. She beat Ian Cohen in a foot race to a deep through ball down the wing. Cutting inside, she then rounded David Meehan, before easily putting the ball into the net. Cassadaigua had their fourth, finishing off a great display for the Group 3 leaders. 1-4 it would finish in the end.

A win for TJUN-ia, 2-0 over Hispinas leaves them 10 points ahead of Flavovespia now. Flavovespia are now 5 points behind 3rd placed Acronius, their next opponents. Acronius keep their hopes of a maiden World Cup appearance going with a 1-3 win at Busoga Islands. The hosts however, are also going to be heavily reliant on other results to have a chance at 2nd. Muralos drew 2-2 with Central Shaneville, also dealing a blow to Muralos’ hopes of a Top 2. 5th though at the moment is very respectable in this tough group. Finally Havynwilde’s 2-0 win leaves Nacaltora pointless after 11 games.

Flavovespia now have 2 away games, against Acronius and Muralos. To have even a chance of a more respectable 3rd or 4th in the group, Flavovespia need to start finding wins against the mid-table sides. The “no wins against Pots 1-6 sides” record still stands as of now. Whilst it sounds very unlikely that Alan Young could be fired during the qualifiers, if Flavovespia fail to ever beat one of the Pots 1-6 sides in these qualifiers, tough questions may be asked about his involvement in a potential Cup of Harmony 79 appearance and beyond. Even the optimistic and cheery Alan Young himself has looked increasingly glum in these qualifiers.

Formerly the Republic of Greater Waldster, internationally known as Greater Watford. IC It's a long story (OOC I didn't like using real place names)

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Pluvia and the Saxean Isles
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Founded: Nov 11, 2019
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Pluvia and the Saxean Isles » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:27 am

Royal Marienburg University, Marienburg, Pluvia and the Saxean Isles

Prof. Charles Cunningham of the history department at the Royal Marienburg University was working late. Well, he wasn't working late so much as he was reading William II's diary. He was running on a candy bar and a packet of crisps, as well as about four hours of sleep, but that didn't matter. What was food or sleep compared to the sustenance the diary could offer him? The past was opening up before him, revealing its secrets to him and only him. There was a nagging at the back of his brain; he ought to call his wife and apologize, but she could hold a grudge as well as anyone. She likely wouldn't be in the mood to talk. No, better to stay at home. He failed to notice that his wife had left him three messages since this afternoon.

The last diary entry saw William II's evaluation and description of the men who made up the Praesidium. They were all holdovers from his father's time and had held their position for many years. As it was, they were deeply conservative and firmly entrenched in their positions. William II's opinion of most of them was scathing. But this was valuable information to Charles; it would help flesh out their picture of both William and his reactionary opponents. What else compared to reading the man himself's account of how he single-handedly reshaped the Pluvian government and laid the foundation for years to come?

January 17, 1885

It is finished. I return from my meeting with the Praesidium spent. It is not an easy task to listen to seven windbags go on and on, in addition to making my own voice heard. The Lord Steward had the audacity to ask me if I knew what the Praesidium was, then without waiting, proceeded to explain it at length. I have not studied politics and philosophy to listen to some grossly swollen patrician tell me that it is the un-elected, customarily high noble, group of men who serve as a royal council and chief officials of various parts of the government. The arrogance of that man. Soon after, he settled to a meal of roast chicken and port wine and, mercifully, said little for the remainder of the council. At least he knows his place is closing his mouth around food, rather than opening it and allowing words to escape. Perhaps he knows well the proverb regarding fools.

After each of them had said their piece, almost without exception devoid of anything resembling sense, I proceeded to lay out my plan for reform. I told them that I regarded well both them and my father, but that I saw an unwillingness to change and to confront the problems of our society as the most dangerous quality a man can have. I mentioned the expansion of the franchise and the decentralisation of power from my own and their hands as two priorities that would modernise our state and strengthen it by opening the doors of government to fresh ideas, and their faces twisted. I told them I intended to reform the judicial system, to promote increased religious toleration, and to pursue a more equitable burden of taxation, and their countenances became as stone. I did not mention my plan for a modernised military academy and scientific training of police, let alone my desire to industrialise our nation, because I knew it would be useless. They then began falling all over themselves to tell me why any modernisation would be imprudent at this juncture, about the necessity of not removing fences without knowing what they're for, how the great landed aristocrats of this nation (of which they are, they admit, a part) would not stand for it (though, despite being great landed aristocrats themselves, would never resist the king) and on and on. The meeting ended shortly thereafter, as I was in no mood to listen to more of their prattle and they in no mood to do anything but refresh themselves with another meal.

I do have an idea. Together, the Praesidium are strong; but individually, their weaknesses are all too evident. Perhaps a series of individual meetings with each of them would help them see my point of view, or if not, help them to see their way to resignation. But first, my first official meeting with the Magisterium. I have great respect for the holy fathers, but they cannot be allowed to shape Pluvia's destiny. I must break them as I must break the Praesidium.

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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Cassadaigua » Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:06 am

CASE offer to Daniella Strauss?,
By Chelsea Dufrense, Concord Heights Times

You cannot just show up into World Cup qualifying with a great rank and expect to make it to the final group of 32 more often than not. Yeah, there are some nations who seem to announce their intentions and then sleepwalk into the World Cup, but this article is not about them. Other nations seem to do everything right with their preparation but still find themselves in a tough predicament. I look at the situation with Daniella Strauss and Nephara and wonder why the hell anyone would think about firing the greatest active manager in the World right now. You heard me right, and sorry Stephanie Sweeney, but you are certainly in the top five, too. Strauss has done everything right for the Cormorants and was a game away from getting them a World Cup last time out. Not three times out, or six times out, but just the very last World Cup. We remember that well. Oh yeah, we aren’t about to forget that wild encounter against Strauss in the semifinals of World Cup 86. We’ve always respected Strauss, and that’s not just us here at the Concord Heights Times.

Taylor Connolly, the President of CASE said of Strauss that, “If, for some strange reason, Nephara wanted to go in a different direction, then I want Daniella Strauss to know that she can come right here to Cassadaigua and sit right beside me as a Vice President of CASE. I am not sure if she would actually do that, and if she wanted to continue coaching, she would turn whatever program she went to around. We don’t have an opening in that regard, but if she was looking for something different, then I am 100% extending a job offer to her right now for future reference.” A few reporters caught wind of the comment and asked Connolly if that was a serious offer and that was affirmed. Manager Stephanie Sweeney was asked about that and she would reply, “If that ever were to happen, then it would be a complete steal for our program. I appreciate that Taylor (Connolly) is looking to make that kind of move. It would be a great fit.” If anyone was thinking about a Nephara-Cassadaigua rivalry growing based on the results of both the last World Cup and the Copa Rushmori, then if CASE were able to capitalize on this hire, then we could start talking about a rivalry with them. For now, it can only become a rivalry if we get a big result on them, not if they keep beating us at critical junctures.

Strauss and Sweeney would seem to be compatible in how they go about doing things. Anyway, it is fun to talk about possibly bringing the greatest active manager in the world to Cassadaigua in a front office role, but for now let us talk about Group 3. Right now, the Fillies have been safe from some of the craziness that is going on in other groups, especially in regards to Nephara. The team picked up two more wins recently, each coming away from the friendly confines of the homeland. In Acronius, the Fillies got two second half goals to overcome a 1-0 deficit; Courtney Graham in the 59th, and using the fresh legs of Loreen Hazen in the 84th to break the tie. Against Flavovespia, a nation that the Dagans have simply been able to handle time and time again despite their overall good ranking, Cassadaigua won 4-1, and were in control of the match from 8 to 88. Well, before and after those points too. Rachel Schanke got the team on the board very early, coming in the 8th minute. Madison McClain capped it off in the 88th. She scored twice, both after the home team cut the lead to 2-1 on a Scott Coleman goal. Coleman has handled the Fillies well, personally, but the rest of the team has not been able to follow suit. Cassadaigua also got a goal from Katie Standish in the 31st, her first of qualifying, on a perfectly placed header. Courtney Graham’s free kick placement here, though, made the play happen, and the team also gets credit for using both Schanke and McClain well as decoys on the lineup before the kick. Standish said of the goal, “I don’t think they saw me being the featured player there. Great to get the chance, even better to capitalize.”

These results mean the World Cup continues on with Team Cassadaigua leading the way at 9-2-0, but with just a four point lead on TJUN-ia. We see them in MD 14, but will focus on the matters at hand, first.
NS Sports’ only World Cup, World Bowl, World Cup of Hockey, World Baseball Classic and International Basketball Championships winner!

(Motorsports, college basketball, and volleyball, too)

Specific Titles: World Cup 50, 51; WBC 14, 16, 19 & 50; WB 8, 22, & 40; WCOH 11 & 39; IBC 13.
Also: CoH 39; Swamp Soccer 4, WVE (Vball) 6; NSCAA 3, 5 & 9; NSSCRA 7
Runner Up: CoH 40, WB 21, WcoH 8, IBC 12, WBC 13, 15, 47 & 48, DBC 21. 3rd Place @ WC 86
WC Qualified for: 45, 46, 49-61, 67, 79 (DNP WC 69-77), 81-86.
Games of the XIII Summer Olympiad: Second Most Medals
Hosted: World Cup 54, 67 & 84; CoH 57 & 73, BoF 47, CR 30, WB 16, WBC 18, 26, 40, 45 & 50, Some NSCAA, NSCH 1; WLC 7, 30 & 33.

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Graintfjall » Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:13 am

Article posted on the optimistic fan blog, www.GlassHalfFull.græ

    Snow Wolves continue unbeaten run

    The unbeaten streak now includes a shocker of a game against Kandorith that most pundits felt the Snow Wolves deserved to lose. Except that there’s no such thing as desert in football: the scoreline is all that matters. They prevented Kandorith scoring more than them, they are unbeaten, and all the rest is just window-dressing. If anything, finding a way to avoid losing games where you play badly is more impressive than just playing well all the time. (So, yeah, relative to Tikariot, if you apply this Playing Badly Is Better Than Playing Well principle, we clearly have the superior record.)

    There’s been a similar amount of hand-wringing about the goals. A majority of them have come from set pieces, including four of the last four. To which I say, firstly, it’s great we’re converting such set pieces. How often does a free-kick blaze over the bar or slam tamely into the wall? And yet Amanda Guttisdóttir’s sizzling strike against South Covello was superbly struck. And by being such a threat from corners, our big center backs are forcing the opposition to commit bodies to the box, limiting their ability to counter-attack, even when we don’t head them in. Which isn’t often.

    More to the point, a goal is a goal. Is a goal is a goal is a goal. A goal scored from a set piece doesn’t count for less than one scored in open play. Jason Þórhallursson has scored twice from penalties and twice from open play, and neither counts more than the other. It literally how they go in so long as they keep going in. Even the two own goals this campaign count all the same. People who make excuses about us being too dependent on set pieces are just tying themselves in knots trying to avoid acknowledging that we’ve found a way to score, and to win.

    Yes, Nephara lie in wait. The misery surrounding this fixture is incomprehensible. Just at the moment they’ve proved they can be beaten, they can’t possibly be beaten? This is the exact best match the Snow Wolves could have, to finally prove they’re legit. I wish we had to play Nephara 7 more times in qualifying, and 7 more times at the World Cup. And OK, so even that might not be enough, and we finish second behind South Covello and have to go through play-offs? OK! Bring them on! Last time we came close enough, we’ve learned from that experience, and the progression is to going one better.

    The team is, with Hanne Heikkisdóttir’s recovery, back to full fitness. We have a settled starting XI and a good sense of how to shift tactically, reserves at every position, plenty of momentum, and plenty of hope. And best of all, we’re coming off the hot run of form. An 8 game unbeaten streak? Not since the Baptism of Fire has Græntfjall’s football team accomplished such a feat. So it’s reasonably certain – 85%, minimum – that just as Græntfjall won BoF73, they’ll win WC87. The logic is faultless.

Article posted on the pessimistic fan blog, www.GlassHalfFullOfPiss.græ

    Dude, we’re playing Nephara.

    Seriously. Dude.
Solo: IBC30, WCoH42
Co-host: CR36, BoF74
Champions: BoF73
Runners-up: DBC49
The White Winter Queendom of Græntfjall
GS SuperSports+

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Founded: Apr 30, 2019
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Hapilopper » Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:48 am

The Team Hapilopper Complex, Hapilopper City
Leading up to World Cup 87 Qualifier Match 12: Hapilopper v. North Japan
Team Hapilopper felt as if its backs were against the wall just prior to the start of the next World Cup Qualifier matches. The last couple of matches had not gone well and it wasn’t because of anything that they could fix. They had just been outplayed in the Xanneria match, and they had been outplayed in the Electrum match. They hadn’t worked hard enough in the week leading up to the two matches, and following the frustrating 4-3 defeat to Electrum, head coach Thom Perkins had seen enough.

“We’re not going to get anywhere if we keep playing like this, god damn it!” Thom snapped after the Electrum defeat. “The second we get back home, we’re going to start working to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Thom was livid, concerned that such a poor performance would have an impact on his future as Team Hapilopper head coach. And in fact, the day after the Electrum match, he requested a face-to-face meeting with Dom Probst, head of Team Hapilopper.

“So, you’re concerned. I get that,” Dom said. “I’m not. We’ve been hitting above our weight this year. We fell behind a lot of nations because of what happened in the last couple of years. That’s not your fault and not my fault. We’ve got to build back what we lost, and it’s unfortunately going to take bad days like this.”

“Why aren’t you concerned?” Thom asked. “I mean, we beat ourselves in both of those matches.”

“Because we’re in good hands,” Dom replied. “We’ve got a good head coach. All you need to do, Perkins, is crack the whip. And I know you’re capable of cracking the whip. Get them to work a little bit harder. Get them to remember that everyone they face – regardless of it’s Baker Park or Xanneria or Vdara or hell, North Japan – regardless of how unstoppable they may look – all of them are human.* They’re beatable.”

“Yeah, they are.”

“Just get the players to realize that they can do anything,” Dom replied. “A lot of them are the same players that beat Brenecia. They beat Equestria and won the Unofficial World Championship. They won the Baptism of Fire. And they beat all those guys because they felt like they could. I remember Ernie Stevenson just before he came from under the tunnel in Brenecia four years ago. He looked at me and you know what he told me?”

“What’s that?”

“He said ‘These guys can be beat, and we’re gonna beat ‘em.’ And you know what he did? He scored three goals in that match. He beat them 3-0. And this wasn’t some team like Bolgano or the Cheetahs and Reptiles Coalision, this was the team that had just won the World Cup proper three years before.”


“And the next year, we went to Equestria against the best football team in the multiverse. They were undefeated. They had won the last World Cup, if I remember correctly. And I remember seeing you leading a group of apocalyptic Road Warriors into battle. I remember the locker room before the start of that match. You guys were ready to go to war. I had never seen anything like it in my life. The whole team had cut their hair into mohawks. Their faces were painted for war. And I remember what Nate Ellis said in the locker room before the start of that match. You remember?”

“He said we’re beating those damn ponies or we’re gonna die trying,” Thom said sadly.

“We need to get that edge back. We’ve got to get that edge back. And you need to instill that in them. I’m giving you a vote of confidence. You’ve got to get their edge back, and you’ve got to start today.”

And as the team got ready to start training, Thom Perkins showed up with a little more fire. North Japan was next, and while the team had chortled and chuckled at the team’s press releases that painted a wildly different picture of the match than what really happened, the training for the match was no laughing matter. The team was working a little harder, kicking the ball a little farther, and tackling with a little more oomph. Their goal was not just to beat North Japan, but to make an example out of them.

* - Just a figure of speech, not an implication of any species of any other team from any other nation.
Hapilopper: The home of TEAM BLUE and the winner of the 70th Baptism of Fire!
On a temporary hiatus from NationStates. Be back soon!
NSSCRA drivers: #8 - Frank Bronson | #73 - Taylor Henderson | #81 - Drake Stevenson
Preston Autos Grand Prix Racing: #50 - Rudy Edwards (HAP) | #8 - William Archer (Abanhfleft)
Made with pride in Atlantian Oceania.

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Jabal Akhdar
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Founded: Dec 16, 2020
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Jabal Akhdar » Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:05 pm

Selection of articles from the AP (Akhdari Press) wire.
    Green Falcons Win Praise For Fair Play!

    The Green Falcons have been commended for their commitment to the spirit of the game after losing successive games, to Barunia and Kelssek. "The Emirate's fabulous wealth naturally means they could have bribed officials to fix games in their favor or bought off foreign teams to throw results," said the anti-corruption charity Clean Sports, Fair Sports. "But we can see that the Green Falcons have truly played the game the way it was meant to be played, that is, with about the same level of skill as would be shown by a bunch of children using scarves* for goalposts. There's obviously no match-fixing going on here: the Green Falcons tried their absolute best to win. And they didn't, because they suck. And we applaud them for that!"

    The games both saw the Green Falcons' opponents quickly assume imposing leads, Barunia jumping out to a 2 - 0 lead after just 21 minutes, Kelssek managing the same inside 18 and adding a third before the half hour mark. Neither team was significantly pressed, although Rayyan Noor Zaman continued his string of spectacular goals with a couple of scything long-range efforts, while Salim Lutfi Nazari celebrated his return from injury against Kelssek with a headed goal within the first five minutes. But neither was enough to make any impact on the eventual scoreline, which the charity commended in both cases as being "clear proof that the Green Falcons are not trying to bribe their way into the World Cup".
* It's too hot for jumpers in the desert.
Jabal Akhdar – 1 (1)
Naser; Kassis, el-Imam, al-Zaki Image (79’ Karim Image), Zaman Image (33’) Image (42’ Kassab Image); Samara; Hakimi Image (75’), al-Naim; Kanaan Image (73’ el-Hashemi Image), Haddad Image (63’), el-Burki

Barunia – 3 (2)
Taylor; Bentley, Brayshaw Image (76’) Image (84’), Moreno Image (68’ Stevenson Image), Adlington Image (90+3’); Thomas Image (8’), Obando Image (60’), Cartwright Image (79’ Starc Image); Swan Image (83’); Carter Image (21’) Image (90’ Saurez Image), Moorhouse

Kelssek – 4 (3)
Gallagher; Bowler Image (90’ Dumont Image), Curtin Image (25’), Fourtin, Douglass Image (78’); Blueman, Bogdanor Image (73’ Corvin Image Image (81’)), Lafrenière Image (57’), Yusupov Image (70’ McDonald Image); Lister Image Image (6’, 18’), Torshen Image (87’)

Jabal Akhdar – 2 (1)
Naser; Kassis, el-Imam Image (85’), al-Zaki Image (60’ Karim Image), Zaman Image (53’); Samara; Hakimi, Nazari Image (5’); Kanaan Image (55’ el-Mourad Image), Haddad Image (73’ Abdullah Image), el-Burki Image (10’) Image (82’)

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Chargé d'Affaires
Posts: 404
Founded: Jun 07, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby PotatoFarmers » Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:15 pm

Previous RP (Chapter 3 Part 6)
OOC: Nope, the Group 11-19 analysis isn't coming today, despite what TGI says. Try again in Part 8 ;)

RP Series: Getting to the top
Chapter 3: New Year, New Goals
Part 7: Keeping the pressure at the top

There is 1 person to thank for ensuring that the Red Panjias remained at the position they were after that harrowing defeat to Farfadillis. No, not Adnan Suliaha. Neither is it Katiri Hedge. In fact, the answer shocked many people, even Shakira Handris said that "his performance is definitely worthy of some big things".

It was Iulianus Innocenti. Widely considered to be former national team striker Bytia Hisel's protégé, he has risen to prominence after being bought from minows Totalaha. He, then, was barely 20, but the club saw his potential and Hisel said she was willing to train him to partner her in front. That was before the club rose to the position they are at, following their shock purchase of the elf. Honestly, now if you ask Hisel, she would quietly point to the elf and say "they will say it is their responsibility for grooming Innocenti".

After the game against Farfadillis, it seemed that the entire squad forgot how to score. For a whole 60 minutes, the team was sitting there, defending very well, but can't seem to get many shots on target. Makana Tuft wasn't getting past the defenders, Joel Haodao looked better but was still missing his chances, and Monesty Erdos had also been frustrated in trying to get shots through. Yes, the team has quite some chances. Yes, the defence isn't leaking goals. But somehow, the team felt stuck. Until Innocenti came.

Months ago, if you asked the coaches why he was picked, Suliaha would tell you that he was picked to provide the alternative gameplay that Poafmersia is lacking. Trying to sit back, defend, and push the counter-offensive when the opponents over-extend. Maybe that was what happened at first against Southwest Eastnorth, where Innocenti was handed a rare start in a game where Aleka Dufour was expected to start instead. In Innocenti's substitute performance against Bongo Johnson, nothing of that sort was happening. He became the target man, poaching opposition defenders for goals, and then relying on feed from the wingers or midfielders to tap in nice goals, just like the first goal that finally broke the deadlock. That, was surely a play style you wouldn't have expected him to perform. Although Kistina Galaxy has played that playbook before, they still did it with 2 players, so it wasn't exactly being a target man like you would in here.

Innocenti's performance against Southwest Eastnorth was absolutely refreshing. 3 goals, 1 assist, and a whole lot of efforts earned him the man-of-the-match. It was a very different attitude that the players adopted against the visitors, considering that they have been involved in some really great results over the past 2 weeks. And so the team played it all out. Shakira Handris, from the bench, felt happy that the players found back the lust for blood that seemed to have deserted them after that hammering by Farfadillis. Only this time, she wasn't there to lead the charge. And she didn't have to. Gisiik Moonar provided lots of opportunities that helped to break the opposition defence. Arnold Shwentin, and later, Donk Mason, acted as the balancer on the other side of the field, providing good link-up plays between the defence and the frontline. Joel Haodao and Pete Carissa cooperated by bamboozling the defenders with their lobs here and there. Innocenti ran into positions over and over again, and he would probably have finished his hat-trick earlier if the opposition defence wasn't on point for half the game. The game was so well done that it gave the coaches a selection headache. While at this point, he probably has to start picking his final 23 players for whichever final tournament the team is playing, Adnan Suliaha and Katiri Hedge have indicated privately that the frontline is a tough choice. Each player brings with them their personal benefits, and originally, it was mainly between the two Dalaris City center forwards. Now Iulianus Innocenti has came forward and asked to be considered. The selection was a headache. Should Adnan and the coaching team stick with Iulianus Innocenti for the next game against the Confederates? Or should they recall Shakira back onto the frontline? Tough, tough, choices.

Bongo Johnson 0

Poafmersia 2
Iulianus Innocenti 70' (assist by Erdos), 88'

Lineup for Poafmersia (4-3-3): Nicole Potts; Ariel Casey, Hollis Stephenson, Mitchel Rosales, Zak Kaloyanov; Nero Wood, Ftiks Wariq, Daas Taisg; Joel Haodao (c), Makana Tuft, Monesty Erdos
Substitutes: Iulianus Innocenti (Tuft 61'); Arnold Shwentin (Taisg 77')

Poafmersia 5
Iulianus Innocenti 15', 50' (assist by Moonar), 78' (assist by Haodao)
Joel Haodao 37' (assist by Innocenti)
Pete Carissa 90+1'

Southwest Eastnorth 2
Van Austin 24', 62'

Lineup for Poafmersia (4-3-3): Sandi Jaliaha; Nasri Sanchez, Mitchel Rosales, Hollis Stephenson, Natalia Abbott; Arnold Shwentin, Woden Sweet, Gisiik Moonar; Joel Haodao (c), Iulianus Innocenti, Pete Carisa
Subsitutes: Donk Mason (Shwentin 61'), Alex Hoboson (Stephenson 78')
Last edited by PotatoFarmers on Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
IC Name: The People's Republic of Poafmersia (Trigram: PFA)
IC Flag: Refer to my flag with my IC nation Poafmersia, though that nation's RP will be done with this account.
Citizen of The North Pacific (and also other regions)
Ambassador of The North Pacific to Europe and Thalassia
Minister of Communications, The North Pacific

Sportswire. Achievements: BoF 71 Bronze; IAC X and IAC XI Champions
WCC Football (Pre-WC87) - 48th, KPB=17.74, Style: +2.781

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Founded: Nov 11, 2016
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Savojarna » Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:54 pm - inside reports from all Savojarna
Voynov’s triumphant return: an omen for the Northlights?

By Jaukka Halanen

Krister Voynov has been heralded as the face of the Savojarna national team for a while by now, the left winger of the Northlights shining with flashy plays as well as being a great scorer. His exploits have also been noticed in the club scene as he has been picked up a few years ago by Valanora’s superclub Raynor City United, perhaps the single biggest address in the Multiverse (although some others may have something to day about that). Back in the day RCU paid fifteen million NSD for the transfer, fuelling Admiral Storevik’s big rise in the late 00s of the SFS A; it was Voynov’s transfer fee which allowed them to pay for Sabine Montag, Jzeovak Vladcik, and Palina Leopold to form their SFS-winning offence. The transfer has since been overshadowed by the 24 million that Directus paid for Misha Jashkin, and for a while Voynov had been going somewhat out of focus - but he has forcibly arrived back in Savojarna’s collective conscience.

The Ejanan-Russian player has by now become a feature of Raynor City, their starting man on the left wing, and the cause of a support base in Savojarna for RCU that is only rivalled by a few lucky international teams. Zvezda Vlaikograd of Siovanija & Teusland may have a bigger support among the young radical left that is so common among Savojar football fans, and the bright orange of Victoria Maersk’s Vermillion Rage may stand out more on the streets, but it is ultimately Raynor City and their flashy left side that has become a mainstay in the heart of casual Savojar football fans. And after they beat Brenecia’s Northern Union - another club with a niche following among Savojar ultras - in the Champions League final, the casual fans have come out of the woodwork in full force. Of course, there had been celebrations back in Valanora, but fresh from there Voynov had hopped on a plane to Sjoedrhavn, and the welcome he got there may have been even more impressive. There were definitely fewer people, but knowing they had all shown up for him personally must be an intoxicating feeling for a player who may be used to the spotlights, but tends to have to share his glory with the team.

Now, it’s all Voynov as he was welcomed by an estimated 4000 fans at the Sjoedrhavn International Airport. Notable was also the amount of families and casual fans showing up, representing the full width of the support spectrum; many clad in Savojarna shirts or even RCU kits. The most visible group, perhaps, was the group of Admiral ultras, many of whom were wearing the old Storevik jersey with the number 19 on it, that was coming in with drums and war horns; as well as the group of fans carrying a gigantic cutout of the Champions League trophy. The display seems to have somewhat surprised Voynov, who had almost returned back through the gate upon seeing the crowd before breaking into laughter and waving to his fans before going on a spree of signing jerseys, cards, balls, and almost any other possible item. The reception, not organised by any official entity, had taken a long time as Krister Voynov was disproving his sometimes lofty, arrogant image and took his time to spend with fans.

Voynov, of course, is not the first Savojar to win the Champions League; his eternal rival and partner on the right side Misha Jashkin has achieved the same feat with Directus before and even defended his title. However, it was the first time that a Savojar winning the highest crown of club football was truly catching the attention of the public; it is hard to say why, although the pundits of the nation of course tried. Most pointed to Voynov being with RCU for a longer time, and having been in a starting position, giving many fans the impression that this was more Voynov’s triumph than Directus’ victories had been Jashkin’s feat. Others suggested that RCU are simply more popular in the nation, compared to Directus - a team that never really took off in Savojarna - which is most definitely true. Finally, some implied that the tricky, glamorous Krister Voynov is more popular, especially around Sjoedrhavn, compared to the more down to earth and working-under-the-hood Jashkin.

On the day of his return to Sjoedrhavn, Voynov probably could not have cared less about this question - and neither do the Savojar fans, simply proud of the international recognition their players are getting ahead of what is going to be a hot footballing summer with World Cup and Cup of Harmony football coming up, as well as a spectacular SFS season with some interesting shifts in the league. The hopes, of course, are that Voynov will carry his high over to the national team as well; we have no doubts that this winger will continue to be a mainstay of the Northlights for a few more seasons.

Rosters for the upcoming matchday:

vs Ancherion: Pakanen - Pedersen, Zirkova, Dmitriev, Nurkanen - Ilkkanen, Maersk - Voynov, Poulsen, Jashkin - Nweke
Bench: Larsen, Thorvaldsson, Zirkova, Skov, Klaebo, Lundell, Rajala, Midtjaer, Jacobsen
vs Zwangzug: Pakanen - Pedersen, Zirkova, Forsberg, Skov - Ilkkanen, Maersk - Voynov, Lundell, Jashkin - Nweke
Bench: Larsen, Thorvaldsson, Dmitriev, Nurkanen, Klaebo, Poulsen, Rajala, Midtjaer, Jacobsen
MT socialist (mostly) island state - Cultural mixture of Scandinavia, Finland and Russia -Exports iron, steel, silver and wood - Low fantasy in terms of animal species - Sports-loving - 22.8 million inhabitants.

The adjective is Savojar; Savojarnan is not a word!
I am a student of (European) politics, ice hockey fan, left-wing communist bordering on anarchy, and European federalist. Enjoy!

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Posts: 60
Founded: Feb 16, 2005
Democratic Socialists

Postby Wrecker » Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:57 pm

An undisclosed location, somewhere in the vicinity of Halsted
A day after the Wreckeria-Tornado Queendom match

Wreckerian President Arnold Martin and his crew had anticipated it, and they had expected that the True Wreckerians would launch a missile from somewhere in a show of strength to show the Wreckerian government, President Martin and the rest of Atlantian Oceania that they were not going to tolerate being singled out the way they had been by the Martin coalition government. The missile launch had interrupted every television program in Wreckeria, and had sent emotions into overdrive.

Many panicked. Was this the first shot of a new Wreckerian Civil War? Others watched forlornly, wondering if they’d have to start fighting insurgents again. They had been tired of seeing violence on every street corner, tired of seeing friends suddenly disappear, never to be seen or heard from again. President Martin, meanwhile, was seated in an underground bunker. It might have been an overreaction, but who knew with these True Wreckerians.

Alongside him were members of the Wreckerian military, who were contemplating launching a countermeasure. In all likelihood, this missile launch was probably just a test launch, not intended to land on any targets, but it was still enough to cause concern. Arnold looked stone-faced as he watched the missile on radar, going up into orbit.

“Should we intercept?” asked General Todd Nowell. “We’re prepared to do so. All I need is your OK and we can send one in the air.”

Arnold thought about it for five seconds. He then turned to Gen. Nowell and nodded his head.

“Do it,” Arnold replied.

Gen. Nowell picked up a red phone and gave one solemn order. “Intercept it,” he said into the phone.

Inside that underground bunker, the group of individuals – including Pres. Martin, Gen. Nowell, advisor Travis Unser – who had warned of the missile launch – and a handful of elected officials and advisors watched a second dot pop up on radar. The dot represented a missile fired up from a Wreckerian missile defense system.

The group watched as the two dots reached each other on the radar.

“30 seconds to impact,” an advisor calmly said, looking at a readout. “20 seconds. Confidence is high of interception. 15 seconds. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.”

The advisor looked at the readout and stared back at President Martin and the rest of the group.

“Interception successful.”

The outskirts of Sprague
The same time
A group of people stood in a park, watching the True Wreckerian missile start to arc downwards. They spotted another missile come its way. The two missiles made contact with incredible force, and generated a massive explosion that shook the entire town and jostled the group of people to the ground.

“Holy SHIT!” one shouted. “What was that?!”

“I don’t know, but why was that first one launched? We’re not going to war again, are we?” another asked nervously.

“I don’t know, man, I don’t know.”

Across Sprague, everyone could see and hear the two missiles make contact. The shockwave shattered windows in areas across town. People rushed out of their homes, businesses and schools, fearing that, in all likelihood, the Wreckerian Civil War had gotten started again with the explosion of the two missiles.

Those that saw it stood there, dumbfounded and silent. The 54 years of violence had ripped Wreckeria apart, and it was about to get kicked off again.

President Martin’s underground bunker, Halsted
The same time
Arnold Martin sat at his seat with no expression on his face. There were a ton of thoughts running through his mind at this point. Had he just shown the True Wreckerians that they needed to behave? Or would they be empowered by the interception and would they want to retaliate? Would the next missile launch be aimed at a population center? Had he just restarted the Wreckerian Civil War?

Other people started to get out of the bunker, but Arnold just sat there. Right in front of him, a phone rang. He picked it up, wondering who was on the other line.

It was the head of the True Wreckerians. To say he was incensed was like saying the 54 years of violence had been a schoolyard scrap. Arnold’s ear was burned by some of the worst language he had ever heard. But within the language was a message:

“We’re not going to tolerate you shooting down our vehicles. We’re going to launch another one, and if you shoot this one down, that means war.”

“So why’d you fire that missile?” Arnold asked, a tone of anger in his voice. “Because quite frankly, that’s a declaration of war in itself.”

“To show you we’re not going to be pushed around. If you think we’re going to tolerate you treating us like second-class citizens, you’re wrong!”

“You’re not second-class citizens, but at the same time you’re not going to launch missiles like that and think you can get away with it!”

“Oh yeah? Just watch us.”

The head of the True Wreckerians hung up the phone, and Arnold sat there, a vein bulging from his forehead. He realized that Wreckeria was on the verge of war again, and he needed to find a way to lower the temperature. So he dialed a number and hoped the person on the other end of the line would answer.

“Hello, this is the office of William Mathis, President of Hapilopper.”

“This is Arnold Martin in Wreckeria. I need to speak to President Mathis as soon as possible.”

“Alright, we’ll try to get him.”
Puppet of Hapilopper
Made with pride in Atlantian Oceania.

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Founded: Sep 08, 2017
Democratic Socialists

Postby Mavinet » Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:02 pm

© Đại Hòa Times
World Cup 87 Qualifiers: A case of an imbalanced team
Op-ed by Ha Thai Dung, Football Writer

The qualifying matches for the 87th edition of the World Cup is still going on, and there are still several more rounds to be played, but after a disappointing display by the Mavinese national team against the United States of Devonta that resulted in another 2 points dropped, fans and observers have started to wonder what is happening to the winning spirit of the team. The result itself was not a bad one, and there are still chances for the Water Buffaloes to catch up with the front runners, it was the mentality and quality of performance that raised questions.

Signs of a decline in spirit have already appeared in the earlier match against Chromatika. Despite the 2 goals, the team’s performance lacked energy, coherence, and consistency. Striker Võ Thanh Hải was the only bright spot with his individual efforts among subpar performances of the rest. Judging by the rankings, Chromatika are superior and of course, were favorite to win. However, Mavinet have faced harder opponents before: Nephara, Pasarga, Terre Septentrionale… and in every previous encounter against a superior opponent, Mavinet have displayed a fighting spirit so fierce that even the best teams of the multiverse couldn’t underestimate. Mavinese fans can remember with pride the valiant 5-6 defeat or 5-5 draw to Nephara in the World Cup 86 qualifiers and Copa Rushmori 36 respectively. Those were the times where, despite the overwhelming quality of the opponents, Mavinet stood firmly and fought bravely to the end. Where have that fighting spirit gone this qualifying campaign?

Things continue to go downhill with successive disappointing games afterward: a goalless draw against 121st-ranked ZSeparatists; a 0-1 loss to 199th-ranked Freechi, and a heavy 1-5 loss to Drawkland before the latest match against Devonta. The loss to Drawkland can partly be excused due to the quality of the opponent and the fact that it was an away match, but there is no excuse for dropping the will to stay in the game entirely after the first half. Adding the latest drop in points against United States of Devonta to the mix and Mavinese football fans can now see a pattern: The Water Buffaloes seem to have lost their ability to exert control in matches where they are expected to win, and fight hard for an acceptable result in matches where the odds are against them. Mavinet are on the verge of becoming mediocre, both in ranks and in playing style. The players don’t show a desire to retake the ball when they are on the defensive, and they don’t show determination to break through the opponents’ defense when they are attacking. Mavinet’s passing and attacking tactics have become so predictable that even lower-ranked team can now create significant obstacles for us. The defense has always been a weak point in Mavinet’s game plan, but we have always had reliable attackers to make up for it. The problem also arose from there: Mavinet rely too much on our offensive ability. When that ability declines, Mavinet quickly become toothless in both offense and defense.

Aside from the over-reliance on the offense, age can be another source of the problem for the Water Buffaloes. The average age for the official 23-men roster announced by the MFA is 28 years old. That is neither too old or too young, so what’s the problem. The problem is Head Coach Minh Quan tends to use only group of players from that roster for most of the matches. Most of the players in that main lineup are already in their 30s, with a few getting close to 30, and even fewer in their early or mid 20s. Looking at the regular attackers, only Hồ Vũ Thanh Hoàng is under 26, while the rest range from 28 to 31 years old. These players have played for the national team for several years and their experience is inarguably rich. But this explains why Mavinet is becoming predictable: Head Coach Minh Quân has not made much changes to the primary lineup since World Cup 85. As players Võ Thanh Hải, Trần Hoàng Minh, and Vũ Tiến Linh consistently being prioritized over younger players, Mavinet become more and more reliant on yet another factor: experience. The imbalances between offense and defense, as well as the lack of youth creativity and energy are dulling the horns of the Water Buffaloes. On a good day, the experience and offensive prowess can make the difference, but in the long run, any decent opponent will see that they only need to duly study the patterns of attack Mavinet have used to render us ineffective going forward.

With the issues analyzed, it is straightforward to see where we have to change to become competitive again. The Water Buffaloes need to learn how to defend as a system; they need new blood, young blood – players who will play with more instinctive energy and creativity. No doubt we still need experience among the group, but it’s time fresher faces play a more important role in the team. With the retirement of Head Coach Minh Quân announced, the wind of changes may soon blow the team’s way. Who will be the next helmsman is still an unanswered question, but whoever that might be, they will have a lot of renovating work to do.

62’ ???

14’ Le Chi Tho

6’ Vu Tien Linh
39’ Vu Tien Linh
44’ Ho Vu Thanh Hoang
76’ Mai Trung Hai

61’ ???
83’ ???

MD12’s lineup against Arklanda:
Manh Cuong (GK) / Khang Anh (LB), Hung Dung (CB), Hong Dang (CB), Phu Cuong (RB) / Tri Thong (DM), Trung Hai (CM), Hoang Minh (AM) / Tien Linh (LW), Thieu Van (RW) / Thai Gia (ST).

MD13’s lineup against Chromatika:
Hoang Trung (GK) / Phuoc Long (LB), Hung Dung (CB), Van Thao (CB), Van Hau (RB) / Tri Thong (DM), Hoai Linh (CM), Hoang Minh (AM) / Tien Linh (LW), Thanh Hoang (RW) / Thanh Hai (ST).
    Champion: Baptism of Fire 72
    Third place: Di Bradini Cup 47

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Alasdair I Frosticus
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Alasdair I Frosticus » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:09 pm

On matchday 10, Trolleborg had finally stumbled. A 1-0 loss to Waisnor had placed qualification back in the Holy Empire's hands - so long as they could win the away leg against the Trolls. Unfortunately, the Empire proceeded to throw away their advantage in Matchday 11, where one of the highest-scoring and most attacking teams in the history of the World Cup had been held to an extraordinary 0-0 draw by bottom-crawlers Yerapia - despite hitting the woodwork a mildly improbable six times. Perhaps the after-effects of the World Cup 86 probability virus were still being felt. In the meantime, Imperial scholars had found evidence of the right winger Tzimisces promoting football in Xanneria's relatively recent past - though the circumstances of the evidence left it ambiguous as to whether they were a true record of events, or merely a version thereof.


It's ten to noon in the small town of Dodgeball City, somewhere in western Xanneria.

The dusty streets are deserted, except for three men. A mournful harmonica plays from the front porch of the town jail, where Deputy Di Bradini sits playing the instrument, watching the two men standing in the middle of the street.

Sheriff Juan Tzimisces is wearing a gold and red poncho and a hat. A cheroot dangles from the corner of his mouth.

Shane Bronson, a Xannerian bandit, stands about ten paces away, staring at Tzimisces, his gun hand flexing just above his holster. He speaks.

"Reckon you're Sheriff Tzimisces."

Tzimisces stares back, a look of disdain flashes across his face as he coolly lights his cheroot.

"Reckon I am."

"Word round these parts is that you're hankerin' to hold some sort of football tournament here in Dodgeball City".

"Word travels fast."

"Well, I ain't so sure that football's what Dodgeball City is needin' right now."

"You, ain't, are you?"

"No, I ain't"

"What's it to you?"

"I reckon that you're not Xannerian; that you're aimin' to introduce ... foreign customs. We ain't wantin' none of your foreign garbage round Dodge."

"That's what you reckon, is it?"

"Yeah, that's what I reckon. We're happy with our existing wholesome pastimes, like drinkin' and gamblin' and whorin'; and that I get a cut from those wholesome pastimes is nobody's business but my own."

"Now you listen to me, and you listen to me good. I ain't caring about your drinkin' and gamblin' and whorin'. All I'm caring about is givin' these people some form of distraction. And I reckon that the best way of distractin' them is to form them up into five teams of 11 players each and instituting organised league football round these parts. And if I only drop some of my terminal 'g's, then that ain't nobody's business but my own. So why you don't move along, Shane Bronson, before somebody - namely you - gets hurt, why dont'cha?"

"That's a mighty big speech, Tzimisces."

"I reckon it was."

"Are you willin' to back that up with the barrel of a gun?"

"Reckon I am"

The two men stare at each other. There is no sound except for Di Bradini's harmonica, which now plays four mournful notes. Suddenly an orchestra starts to swell somewhere.

Beads of sweat drip off Shane Bronson's face.

He reaches for his gun. He's fast.

But Tzimisces is faster.

Bronson drops dead.

Tzimisces walks over to the corpse, and gives it a little kick. He taps off the burning end of his cheroot.

"Reckon we'll be playin' football after all..."



Excellent performance there. John, you're really inhabiting the Tzimisces role. Absolutely brilliant stuff. But Alex, I'm not sure we completely believe that you're Shane Bronson. Remember, this is one of the most reviled characters in the history of the Xannerian West - the man who tried to stop football. I know we're taking a little bit of dramatic licence with the historical events, but this is Hawthorne; that's what we do here. We're making a film to entertain. People want to believe that we're improving history, not just repeating it. So let's take a break, have lunch, and then return back to the studio. Alex, perhaps think about how you can get people to really hate Shane. It's all in the eyes remember - use the eyes.....
Last edited by Alasdair I Frosticus on Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια?

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Posts: 569
Founded: Jun 06, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby Tikariot » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:09 pm

Darkness. The steady, slow dripping of water can be heard, not the annoying leaky faucet type, though, but more cavernous like a drop of water slowly letting go off the ceiling, plunging down onto rock, with just enough of a splash indicating that the steady drops have already left a hollow in the stone below. Faintly The Shadow's mysterious "S" pulsates on the screen.


The Shadow: How do you measure spirit? It is a question that has been around for as long as sports have been in existence and has been dissected to death by the so-called experts trying to quantify something that cannot.

The sound of a horse galloping at full speed can be heard as the picture slowly fades into a snow-covered meadow, two black horses racing each other, their shiny black coats in stark contrast to the pristine snow blanketing the landscape around them.

The Shadow: If you look at these horses, they are showing what commonly is considered 'spirit', do they not? But what does it mean to have 'spirit', to be 'spirited'? The general definition is "full of energy, enthusiasm, and determination." At first glance, it makes sense, but when you look closer, it is easy to discover the paradox right within the very definition.

Energy is quantifiable. It is measurable. It is actually trainable. You can measure speed, endurance, strength, power. Any scientist's and analyst's dream. A finite set of parameters that you can benchmark against.

Determination. "Firmness of purpose, resoluteness." This one you can't really put into numbers, but you can see, if the players gives their all, so close enough.

Enthusiasm. "Intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval." Now herein lies the paradox. Enthusiasm implies energy, yes, yet at the same time it also contains the factor of unpredictability, of overshooting the target you have set. And does that not in a way stand against the determination, the 'firmness of purpose' and the 'resoluteness' to ensure that you exactly hit your target?

The camera turns around, showing The Shadow standing atop a boulder within the grasslands the horses are occupying, his dark robe making him stand out amidst the brightness.

The Shadow: So is it really 'spirit' they are looking for? Or has it just turned into one of these amorphous colloquialisms that everybody seems to understand the same way, yet nobody really knows what it exactly means?

The screen turns black again, then fades into showing a dung beetle trying to roll a ball up a hill, losing it time and again.

The Shadow: I believe that they are rather looking at how will a team or player react to adversity? If everything goes right, it is easy to get the players going, to keep them focused. Like the avalanche effect, they just keep on rolling. But what if it does not?

Look at our little friend here. He definitely has the energy, because he just keeps going. He absolutely has the determination to not give up, but picks up his ball again and tries again. Does he have enthusiasm? Well, beetles are not exactly known for betraying a whole lot of emotions, but I'd wager to say that enthusiasm might not really be the right word to use. And this definitely is not the epitome of "spirited" either.

So how does that translate? If a team loses a game or even just loses points, how do they react? Will they pick up the pieces and show the determination to ensure not to let the same happen again? Will they have the energy to put in the extra step, the extra effort? This will show the mettle of a team, not the "spirit".

So Tikariot was held to draws by Zeta Reka and Widaya, but Vilita also did not manage to get past a draw in Zeta Reka. It could have been worse, yet it is the biggest adversity they have had to face so far. Not the loss to Vilita. Failing to win against a 5-time World Champion is not something to be ashamed of, but it is how they got right back up and dusted themselves off, winning 2-1 in Newmanistan that showed that there is a lot of strength, a lot of determination in this team.

Next up State of Trinity and Khytonya. To many must-win matches before going against Tequilo and Vilita back to back. And it is these two teams coming right up where we will see what the team is like. And the Snowy Owls will get back up to soar once more...

Just as the beetle finally reaches the top of his hill, the picture fades to black.
Tikariot - Rushmore - Trigramme: TKT
Sporting achievements:
Football (27th): Ro16 (and group winner) WC87 | Winner - IFC 1 | Quarter final - BoF 73 | 3rd in group WCQ86
Baseball (16th): Winner - International Baseball Slam XI | Round of 16 - World Baseball Classic 49/50
Lacrosse (25th): Round of 16 - World Lacrosse Championships 34
Hosting: IBS XII, Copa Rushmori 36

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Quemorr Isles
Posts: 29
Founded: Jun 16, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Quemorr Isles » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:32 pm


Group A

Matchday Ten
Damukuni 0–4 Newmanistan
Bongo Johnson 0–1 Sylestone
Hampton Island 3–2 Zeta Reka and Hugeltaldom
South Covello 2–0 Filindostan
Vangaziland 3–0 Riena

Matchday Eleven
Vangaziland 1–1 Damukuni
Riena 0–1 South Covello
Filindostan 0–1 Hampton Island
Zeta Reka and Hugeltaldom 0–0 Bongo Johnson
Sylestone 1–3 Newmanistan

Group A                       Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Newmanistan 11 8 1 2 27 15 +12 25
2 South Covello 11 7 3 1 21 9 +12 24
3 Hampton Island 11 7 1 3 14 11 +3 22
4 Damukuni 11 4 4 3 16 14 +2 16
5 Vangaziland 11 4 4 3 12 10 +2 16
6 Filindostan 11 3 4 4 9 11 −2 13
7 Riena 11 3 4 4 6 9 −3 13
8 Sylestone 11 3 3 5 19 19 0 12
9 Zeta Reka and Hugeltaldom 11 2 3 6 11 17 −6 9
10 Bongo Johnson 11 0 1 10 2 22 −20 1

Group B

Matchday Ten
Tumbra 1–0 Natanians and Nosts
Xanneria 1–2 Ancherion
Brenecia 2–2 Vdara
Lisander 1–2 The Grearish Union
South Newlandia 2
–1 Cheetahs and Reptiles Coalison

Matchday Eleven
South Newlandia 0–1 Tumbra
Cheetahs and Reptiles Coalison 1–1 Lisander
The Grearish Union 0–2 Brenecia
Vdara 3
–1 Xanneria
Ancherion 1–2 Natanians and Nosts

Group B                            Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Brenecia 11 8 1 2 34 16 +18 25
2 Ancherion 11 8 0 3 18 12 +6 24
3 Vdara 11 6 2 3 21 13 +8 20
4 Lisander 11 6 2 3 17 12 +5 20
5 South Newlandia 11 6 2 3 13 10 +3 20
6 Xanneria 11 5 0 6 26 24 +2 15
7 The Grearish Union 11 3 2 6 21 27 −6 11
8 Natanians and Nosts 11 3 2 6 12 21 −9 11
9 Cheetahs and Reptiles Coalison 11 2 1 8 15 23 −8 7
10 Tumbra 11 2 0 9 13 32 −19 6

Game of the Day
Vdara - Xanneria on Group B Matchday 11 was an integral game for two underperforming sides and a win was required for both. Vdara, the home side, managed to get it with a strong showing, getting three goals into the back of the net compared to Xanneria's one. Vdara now move up into third place and are four points behind second-placed Ancherion.

Upset of the Day
The Grearish Union successfully disposed of Lisander away from home, 2-1, to give them a slight chance at, you know, not doing so bad. Lisander's great start was finally wearing off as they dropped to fourth place in Group B.

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Posts: 221
Founded: Oct 19, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Muralos » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:33 pm

Traditionally, I have RP'd using articles from La Gazeto de Sportatoj, Muralos' leading source for sports news. However, this time around, I am going to provide a larger excerpt from La Hodiaŭa Ĵurnalo de Urbego (the “Journal Today” of Urbego), the leading newspaper in Muralos' capital city. This is the English-language edition of the paper, in which all articles – originally written in Esperanto – appear in English translation.

Also, the first article is like "damage control" for a trash RP I wrote on MD2 about slowing time to allow the Muralosian team more time to recover, since we experience RL time and are actually playing 2 matches per day, traveling in between matches! Clearly, there were many plot holes in this one, enough to warrant President Kuznetsova's facing impeachment. Here is the RP if you want to read it.

And yep, we use NS Stats.

La Hodiaŭa Ĵurnalo de Urbego

President Kuznetsova Could Face Impeachment
Muralosians Remain Outraged By Time-Shift Fallout
By Ludovico Chen
January 23, 2021

On Friday, January 22, members of the Konsilio, the unicameral legislative body of the United Islands of Muralos, drafted an article of impeachment for Muralos' current president Madoka Kuznetsova. The call for impeachment comes after revelations about Kuznetsova's role in a bizarre "time-shift" project that, if successful, would have resulted in Muralosians experiencing 48-hour days instead of 24-hour days.

Kuznetsova has acknowledged that the time-shift was designed for the Muralosian national soccer team in mind. Currently attempting to qualify for the 87th World Cup, the Hawks – as the national team is endearingly called – have been playing two qualifying matches every other day, with each one taking place in a different nation. The match schedule is particularly grueling and is to take place over the course of over two weeks: the Hawks played their first qualifying match of the cycle on January 11th, and they will play the final qualifying match on January 30th, barring a playoff on either February 1st or February 3rd.

"The time-shift, effective from January 11th to February 3rd, is a temporary mechanism that will provide our national team with ample time to recover between matches; by experiencing 48-hour days, they will effectively have twice the amount of time to do so," Kuznetsova wrote in her initial statement about the planned change. "The Muralosian government will be able to reverse the changes during key moments, such as the Hawks' matches and training sessions, so they are not overly fatiguing."

It was soon clear that the time changes were not taking place as Kuznetsova announced they would be. The Muralosian national soccer team played their second and third World Cup qualifying matches against unranked Central Shaneville and world no. 4 Cassadaigua to lackluster results, losing 2-4 and 0-5. Adamo Brava, captain of the team, reported "a sense of unease" between the matches.

"Most of us were quite tired traveling from Central Shaneville back to Urbego for the match against Cassadaigua," Brava told La Hodiaŭa Ĵurnalo in a press conference January 13th after the Muralos-Cassadaigua match. "I think this was a general sentiment, and there were a couple of gripes about how the time-shift did not seem effective, not to mention questions about the costs of such a measure."

Later that day, Kuznetsova would issue a statement that the time-shift effort "has failed, and I regret to have alarmed our citizens about such a large shift in the country's perception of time and space. I also believe my actions misled the Muralosian national soccer team, rendering them confused about their fatigue between matches earlier today. In summary, the Hawks – along with all Muralosians – will continue to experience time as they previously have."

While the Hawks' management accepted the apology, members of Muralosian government did not take to the revelations kindly. While the Muralosian constitution grants President Kuznetsova the freedom to draft legislation and resolutions, these items must be approved by the Konsilio. Members of the Konsilio allege that, in implementing the time-shift, President Kuznetsova circumvented the approval process entirely.

"President Kuznetsova's ignoring such a key mechanism of Muralosian government is, at best, shockingly careless," MK Lynn Ye, chair of the Konsilio's Appropriations Committee, wrote to La Hodiaŭa Ĵurnalo. "In the view of many colleagues, including myself, her efforts to institute the time-shift have undermined our government and, to some degree, disgraced the office of Muralosian president."

Members of the Konsilio were criticized in an open letter, signed by 135 Muralosian academics and legal scholars, for waiting too long to draft articles of impeachment against Kuznetsova. The Konsilio's article was issued more than a week after President Kuznetsova announced plans for the time-shift.
In response to these criticisms, MK Ye stated that "the Konsilio, as a whole, has placed strong faith in President Kuznetsova's leadership during her 3 years in office, and that level of faith is what kept us from jumping on impeachment proceedings. In 2020 alone, the Muralosian government has made astonishing strides in public health, environmental protection, and – most surprisingly – the rooting out of corruption." Ye's claims are verified by World Census data, which ranks Muralos among the top 5 percent in the world for public health and eco-friendliness. The nation is also ranked top 1 percent in the world for integrity.

The Konsilio votes on their single article of impeachment – "circumvention of government institutions" – on Monday, January 25th. Should a two-thirds majority approve the article, a trial against President Kuznetsova will take place in the Supreme Court of Muralos on February 1st. A conviction from the Supreme Court would remove Kuznetsova from office and would forbid her from seeking any elected office in Muralos.

Notice: Maria Koltakova and Han Wang in Concert
An Excellent Showcase of Violin-Piano Classics, with a Muralosian Twist
By Julius Zverev
January 23, 2021

A fact: Koltakova is the wife of Jozefo Koltakov, the Muralosian national soccer team's head coach. Her biography is inspired largely by the American pianist Van Cliburn. Also, forgive me for the mention of an RL country; Russia plays a role in my nation's history!

On Friday, January 22 at 8:00 p.m., the violinist Maria Koltakova and pianist Han Wang appeared jointly at a recital in the Great Hall of Urbego's Félicien de Menil Conservatory of Music. The recital marks the start of the duo's tour of Asian Archipelago, with appearances in The Hainan Union; New Zhengguo, and the newly formed Confederation of Indigenous Australian States.

Koltakova is one of Muralos' most noted violinists, first rising to prominence after her appearance in the 1985 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, then capital of the Soviet Union. Amid tense Muralos-Soviet relations, Koltakova became the first Muralosian to win the competition. Muralos had declared its independence from the Soviet Union only thirty years prior, and Soviet officials – many of whom were in attendance at the Tchaikovsky Competition – were resentful of this fact. Still, Soviet state media openly reported that Koltakova, a Russian Muralosian, "captured the hearts of the jury and the audience alike."

Wang is on the piano faculty of the Félicien de Menil Conservatory and one of Koltakova's long-time musical collaborators. In addition, she regularly appears as a soloist with the Urbego Philharmonic Orchestra, the IAS Symphony Orchestra (formerly the National Symphony Orchestra of Li Qing), and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in St. Petersburg.

Koltakova and Wang's program on Friday ran as follows:


Elegie for the Year 1964
composed by Jan Gurevich (1935-2018)
performed by Maria Koltakova

Gurevich was born in Okha, Russia (now the Muralosian city of Oleo); he studied composition at the Moscow Conservatory before returning to Okha/Oleo in 1959 and residing there for the rest of his life. "Elegie for the Year 1964" was written about the Muralosian Civil War, which began that year. Koltakova has been a notable champion of Gurevich's work, as well as the work of other Muralosian composers.

"You may not hear many of these musical works outside of Muralos, but this is not to say that there are no exceptional Muralosian composers," Koltakova said in a pre-concert talk that took place Friday afternoon. "We now have a burgeoning musical tradition in the country. There are people who write beautiful music that reflects their experience as Muralosians, who set poetry in Esperanto to music, who express themselves wonderfully."

Sonata in A major, op. 47, "Kreutzer" (1803)
composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
performed by Maria Koltakova and Han Wang


Sonata no. 2 in G major
composed by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
performed by Maria Koltakova and Han Wang

Koltakova and Wang performed two encores as well: Fritz Kreisler's "Liebesleid" and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's "Cavatina."

Notice: Muralosian National Soccer Team Records One Win, One Draw
Hawks Climb to 5th in World Cup Qualifying Group 3
January 23, 2021

(T259) 4 - 2 Nacaltora (UR)
Rui 2', 14'; Granda 25', Brava 62' | [redacted] 14', 80'

The Nacaltoran squad has improved their form over the course of the World Cup qualifiers, despite remaining at the bottom of World Cup qualifying group 3.

(T259) 1 - 1 Central Shaneville (UR)
Lin 86' | Vujanic 29'

Central Shaneville has been on exceptionally good form, having drawn 3-3 with world no. 41 Flavovespia prior to their match against the Muralosian team.

The Muralosian national soccer team will face world no. 4 Cassadaigua and world no. 41 Flavovespia on Sunday, January 24th. These matches – as well as all World Cup qualifying matches – can be watched live on RTM-1, Radio Muralana-Sportema, and rtmnet.mur.

Muralosian line-up against Cassadaigua and Flavovespia:
GK - Markov
LB - Petrov
CB - Lei
CB - Kim
RB - A. Mori
LM - Zheng
CM - Abramovich
CM - Granda
RM - Shchedrina
ST - Lin
ST - Brava
Last edited by Muralos on Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:27 pm, edited 11 times in total.
Muralos (RL's Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands; flag is that of Sakhalin Oblast, Russia)
Founder of the Asian Archipelago (as New Zhengguo; previously as Li Qing)
12th Independent Associations Championship - Round of 16, co-hosts with Almuzahara
74th Baptism of Fire Tournament - Round of 16
11th Independent Associations Championship - Eighth-finalists (round of 16)
2nd International Football Cup - Champions
Asian Archipelago Embassy Cup - Quarterfinalists
Asian Archipelago Soccer Cup - Champions

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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Kandorith » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:45 pm


Shinonome Kyoai - International

Crisis deepends under Watanabe
Kandorith fails to win and drawn games are the story of the qualufi.
By Natsumi Miyasaki
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TENKYO, KANYORI — Disappointment has become the story of the current campaign, with Hayabusa resigning as manager from the Kandorese team to the display in the previous games. Kandorese football is in a state of crisis. Watanabe took over after Hayabusa left but, he is leaving a feeling of disappointment and more to desire behind. Currently Kandorith has five games which resulted in a draw and was defeated multiple times, causing distraught and a feeling of failure. The fans are infuriated with the KFA and the state of the Kandorese national team. Trust in the team is at an all-time low, which has so far failed to win against teams which rank much lower in the world rankings list.

For Watanabe his start could not have been worse; even though they won; the defeats and draws are starting to rank up and there's a very questioning mood around the fans. Around social media one voice is the loudest and it's: "Give up, go home". The Kandorese fans are so disappointed in the current results they refuse to go to the stadium or even watch the games at home. Watanabe needs a miracle. Currently the Kandorese team is looking at their most disappointing qualification campaign in decades. Previously the most disappointing result led to the resignation of two managers and a eight place finish in the qualifiers while being ranked in the top 50. Right now the Kandorese team is looking at a fifth or sixth finish while being ranked in the top 30, a shameful display according to the fans.

So far, Watanabe has refused to comment on most media requests as he is trying his best to reconstruct the Kandorese football team. The current results are not something to write home about however. Watanabe has promised a newly build team and has yet to really deliver. The Kandorese have only won one game so far under his leadership and drew against multiple teams where they should have won. For now; qualification seems beyond reach. The public is growing more and more impatient as the team has been unable to impress in any field. The latest result show a fading trust for the national team, the once so very proud name in Kandorese sports.

Kandorith currently sits in fifth place with the sixth team gaining on them without any signs of stopping. The entire campaign the Kandorese have been dropping points in almost every game; while being one of the highest ranked teams in the group, the team has not found any important points at all. The general consensus with the fans is the fact the campaign might already be over. The Kandorese team has little hope left; but they will have to start winning from now on. The Lotus Warriors have been failing to secure wins, to defend being in front and no one is expecting them to be any better at defending in the coming games. As it stands now: the Kandorese will have one of the most humiliating defeats in their history. The team should be third at least and should have been a group winning favourite, but in the end; everything fell apart. The only thing the entire nation is wondering: will the Kandorese team weather the storm and turn this crisis around?

Group 9                                 Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 South Covello 11 8 2 1 24 9 +15 26
2 Græntfjall 11 7 2 2 20 11 +9 23
3 Indusse 11 7 2 2 26 14 +12 23
4 Nephara 11 6 3 2 23 16 +7 21
5 Kandorith 11 4 5 2 19 18 +1 17
6 Baggieland 11 4 3 4 26 22 +4 15
7 Garbelia 11 3 1 7 17 27 −10 10
8 Pluvia and the Saxean Isles 11 2 2 7 18 28 −10 8
9 Sett Forest 11 1 3 7 10 22 −12 6
10 Quemorr Isles 11 1 1 9 13 29 −16 4
Great Empire of Kandorith | 大宮来国 | Dai Kanyori Teikoku

| Overview | Constitution | Anthem | Imperial Anthem | Armed Forces | Foreign Affairs | Emperor

Shinonome Kyoai Headlines:
BREAKING NEWS: Hiyashi Corporation to unveil strategy for the coming year. ● Winter celebrations in full swing throughout the nation, celebrating the ending of the year and asking the gods for a prosperous 2021.

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Blouman Empire
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Blouman Empire » Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:53 pm


Late Header Secures A Point

James Tinkery scored a late header to earn thr Eagles a hard-fought draw against Quebec in their latest World Cup Qualifiers match. The header cancelled out Pablo Mancosu’s first-half diving header and came just minutes after Kim Seung-Yoon hit the post in search of Quebec’s second.

Tinkery sealed a remarkable turnaround for a side whose manager Lewis Parry criticised the Football Federation of Bloumany for changing the venue at short notice due to an “administrative error” that saw Stadium Bloumany used for the Monarto Plate and led to Parry questioning if the FFB cared more for the international side or for its own competitions no matter how small. For all the complications surrounding the fixture, the intensity from two sides near the top of the table was high at Braxon City Stadium, with the Eagles better showing than the previous game drawing a valuable point as they aim to remain within reach of top placed Ko-oren.

The Eagles made a bright start and Luke Cousins’ fierce shot to test Nelson Okellon was a warning of what was to come from a side who remained 3rd despite the draw. The excellent Henry Polinior twice denied Seung-Yoon in the first 45 minutes, first blocking a toe-poked effort before palming a header away. Polinoir could do nothing, however, to deny Mancosu the opener in the 25th minute, with the striker beating the keeper with a thumping diving header from an excellently-placed Bastian Borges Jr cross. Mancosu was off target with another header and Paul Credab and Ty Freltron threatened to respond for the home side, who had the woodwork to thank for denying Seung-Yoon in the second half after he scuffed a shot past Polinoir

Substitute Liam Peach was instrumental following his introduction, creating the equaliser for Tinkery seven minutes after coming off the bench. The powerful finish salvaged a hard game and while it resulted in the side falling an extra 2 points behind 1st it means their qualifying hopes just remain alive. This latest draw highlights just how resolute Parry's men have become after a slow start to the campaign, in which they collected just one point from their first three matches and had lost to Quebec 5-2 when these two sides met back in round 3.

While the Eagles may just be holding onto qualifying hope and the chances are ever more slim, they presented a significantly sterner test for Wangolo’s side. While Mancosu was clinical with the nodded finish, he reacted in frustration as he flicked another header off target. That miss, as well as the wastefulness of Kate Huitema-Omeasoo - who sent an early effort over - and Marco Hertel's tame strike, ensured the Eagles were still in it at half-time. Hertel also dithered in the box when an early second-half chance presented itself, allowing Jason Potts to superbly block. Seyung-Yoon's effort off the post, and their reliance on him and Mancosu for goals, ultimately proved costly as Tinkery denied the visitors the three points. And while Hertel did have the ball in the back of the net again for Quebec in the final minute, it was immediately disallowed for offside as Quebec fell five points behind the group leader.

The Eagles will next face The Sarian, a side that the Eagles struggled with against last time and was able to beat Quebec 4-3. The Eagles while playing better against Quebec than they did against Ko-oren, will need to further improve on their performance if they wish to take something out of the match.
Last edited by Blouman Empire on Sun Jan 24, 2021 2:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Corporate Police State

WC87 MD10 & 11

Postby Squornshelous » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:10 pm

Coincidence, Part 6
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

The meeting of the Council of Ministers had dragged on quite long enough for Sweyn Petrov. It hadn't all been tedious. The discussion had touched on the subject of the national team's excellent play, as they sat at present in position to qualify directly as one of the best three second-place teams. There was a still a tremendous amount of football to be played, including the vitally important second matches against Mriin and Astograth next month. Still Petrov had, upon the subject's arising, proposed that successful qualification result in every player and staff member receiving the Order of the Black Sun, among the highest honors a civilian could receive in the Imperium. There was the small matter that certain of them had already been awarded the order in the past, but Petrov was certain someone could come up with some sufficiently ornamented augmentation to the award for those cases. Perhaps a gold leaf, or silver sword. Naturally, he himself would also receive some appropriately impressive award. He was not much concerned with its name. It was the act, the public act ideally, of accepting such an award that really mattered.

He did have to admit, a successful, or even near successful qualification run would be most serendipitous for his plans. The more his name was on the public's lips, the better. Plans had coalesced, quite nicely, with only a slight nudge in the right direction from himself. Minister Solberg, fortunately, seemed to have little ambition beyond his post at the Ministry of Defense, and the removal of his nemesis, Fedotenko. Even now the man stared balefully down the length of the table as the high Minister waxed verbose about the need for further rapprochement with certain trade partners. Commerce between the Imperium and Sarzonia, for instance, had never quite returned to normal levels. It had very little to do with Sweyn, in any case, mainly falling on Minister of Commerce Ilyana Omdahl and Fedotenko's replacement as Foreign Minister: Feliks Yakovlev. He was content to let those two dominate what remained of that particular conversation.

Petrov took a moment to consider his other co-conspirator. Riihijarvi had thrown himself into planning and developing contacts with an energy that bordered on manic. He seemed to think of little else than regaining his former position as High Minister, which suited Petrov. After all, his own ambitions were quite a bit more comprehensive. Riihijarvi still seemed to think that the Emperor, with the right pressure applied, would acquiesce to their takeover. Petrov knew that a more permanent solution was needed, and had begun working to bring Solberg to share his viewpoint. Why seek to control what I can become? Riihijarvi was a fool, but a useful one.

"Very well," Fedotenko cleared his throat, marking the end of the discussion on commerce. "There is one other matter before we adjourn, which should concern us all greatly, though it falls most directly under your purview, Yakovlev. It has been brought to our attention that the terrorist organization, NewCon, is working to establish a web presence using foreign domains. Naturally, their sites have been blocked on all Imperial networks, but the situation is troubling nonetheless."

"What country would be foolish and stupid enough to aid and abet terrorists?" Minister Solberg asked.

"Not one with which I am familiar, I must admit. Ibixa. Nominally it is a subservient protectorate of Krytenia, though it appears to exercise significant autonomy in most areas of government. Several sites have been created in recent weeks, with the apparent aim of spreading anti-Imperial propaganda. One that is particularly troubling purports to publish the faces and biographical details of people 'abducted' by the Imperium. Largely nonsense I'm sure, Shevchuk?"

Minister of Security Rakel Shevchuk shook her head. "No genuine data breaches. It's more a catalog of missing persons. Some are actually in our custody, others are not. There's no real evidence present on the site, but that has never stopped the internet rumor mill before."

Yakovlev now chimed in. "We've had such little contact with Ibixa that we're uncertain whether it would be most appropriate to contact the protectorate's own government in Altoro, or simply go over their heads to the Krytenians."

"No excuses Yakovlev," Fedotenko brought a hand firmly down on the table. "Not only must these sites be taken down, we will need detailed records of all access to them from the Imperium. To be thorough, all access to Ibixan domains from Imperial addresses will be needed."

"Of course, High Minister, though it's a big ask. We may need to find something the Ibixans want in exchange."

"This is a matter of Imperial security, and we will not bargain over it, Yakovlev."

"Bargaining is how we get things done in this business. Don't tie my hands behind my back and then ask me to juggle."

"Enough, I will not suffer insubordination at this table. Do your job or lose it, Yakovlev. Don't forget who sat in that chair before you."

As the meeting adjourned in frosty silence, Petrov failed to suppress a sly smile. Perhaps it was time to pay a visit to Minister Yakovlev as well.
The Imperium of Squornshelous
Rightful Overlord of the Rogue Provinces of West Squornshelous
Trigram: SQU
KPB Ranking: 22.41 (32nd)
World Cup 31 Champions
Runners Up: WC15 & WC38
Third Place: WC20, WC25
Semifinalist: WC18, WC27
Quarterfinalist: WC5, WC11, WC12, CoH6, WC22, WC30, WC32, WC33, WC34, WC40, CoH77
Second Round: WC6, WC7, WC9, WC16, WC21, WC23, WC24, WC28, WC36, WC37, WC39
Group Stage: WC8, WC10, WC13, WC17, WC19, WC26, WC29, WC35, WC41, CoH76
Worst Day of My Life: WC14
Other days that were not the absolute worst, but when we also didn't qualify: WC84, WC85, WC86

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Ko-oren » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:17 pm

トンボ一覧 - The 'Flies on File - De Libellelijst - Liste Libellulaise

We have several debutants on roster, carefully selected by Weleman, Steenbok, and Yahiro, the appointed selectors for the Dragonflies roster. Juliasterinthen is in close contact with them at all times, but it's the selectors who have the final say in which players get selected to the 23-man squad that travels to the stadium. This year, they have been a little predictable - and to most, predictable is good - with a few odd choices for players outside of the 23-man squad. A total of 35 players were given numbers for this cycle, knowing that up to a dozen of them won't see the field. Only a few debutants get to play in their first cycle, and often that's because of injuries. If the first and second right fullback go down, and there are no other players that can cover that position, we'll turn to the services of Phineas Betteridge, for instance.

The selectors gave us the following rookies:
24. GK Emmet Pinkerton (21) - Brighthaven Town
2. LF Tamrie Munarring (25) - Stein-los Turkish, PAS
25. LF Vidar Langberg (27) - Tanques AOE
27. RF Phineas Betteridge (21) - Kawarthas District, KSK
30. LM Axel Fiallo (18) - Ulsa Rovers, EUR
32. RM Anselmo Viera (23) - Miradela GD
21. SS Dorre Siebelt (34) - Schemerdrecht SVV
34. SS Aisea Aelsine (28) - Arboren FC

From these, we see that only two of them have numbers that indicate they travel with the team to games. These are Munarring (starting left fullback) and Siebelt (as the backup second striker). Langberg has gotten 12 minutes as a sub, and outside of these three, none have played a single minute for the national team yet.

Tamrie Munarring
Immense shoes to fill as a starting defender for the Dragonflies. Seeing as the team still has one of the better defensive records among all 190 nations, Munarring definitely didn't disappoint. He's targeted slightly more often by the opponents, choosing to run their attacks over their right wing a bit more than normal, but the Stein-los Turkish player is covered by Tij Breukelaar who takes the venom out of those attacks. Tamrie would be wise to avoid fouling so many wingers: he doesn't have the speed to catch up with them and doesn't have the vision yet to know where to line up instead. At 25, you would expect he'd have a slightly better sense for those things.

Dorre Siebelt
The go-to substitution if Juliasterinthen subs a striker for a striker, Siebelt has mostly come on in situations where a small lead must be defended. His crafty passing and decent finishing hasn't been on display because of that, but there have been flashes of genius when playing together with Erisia. He does well with teammates that also move around a lot and is a lot worse around more stationary strikers like Turner.

Vidar Langberg
Didn't play enough to really judge, but he made no obvious mistakes in his short tenure.

Apart from those named above, some other players have been on the team for longer despite their young age. Ko-oren typically doesn't enter the Di Bradini Cup - our youth development isn't as good as that of many other nations. Older players tend to do a lot better in our defensive league and on our defensive national team. That makes the rapid increase in skill by Kaplan (18 years old, plays for Izotz Zubia), Alex Fiallo (18, at Ulsa Rovers in Eura), and yCinrhadd (19, at Squidroidia's Inkopolis FC) so impressive. To be ready for this level at that age, with a gameplan that's often as complex as it gets, is something.

Here's some more young players that might pop up in a Greenblue jersey in the near future:
RB Adam Archer (18) - Straudum VV (having joined the Top League squad directly from Wright United Academy)
LB Bunaul Misthinden (19) - Turoki United, VIL (playing in one of the most storied leagues at that age!)
LM Kaoru Misaki (18) - Sokattack Mliona, VIL (apparently the Vilitans sniping our talent is a theme)
GK Carl Malmstroom (19) - AC Hoford, NAC
RM Zornim Turaulthen (19) - Eivora Athletic FC, TKT
DM Sinclair Odgers (19) - Couziers-Olympiques (still playing in Ko-oren, at a vital position that we don't have a clear #1 for at the moment)

In the end, if there's one thing we learned, is that the 5-3-2 formation is so ingrained in the Ko-orenite football pyramid (even if many teams run a 4-4-2, 4-3-3, or even 3-5-2) that pretty much anyone who enjoyed their youth career on the archipelago can effortlessly jump in and out of the formation. It doesn't matter who is featured on that back line, or if it lacks some household names (Mizuno, Lampshire, Benjamin), it functions coherently. This cycle, it's Pott who plays in the middle as the leader of the defence, helped by Breukelaar and Gicquel, who both have plenty of experience at various positions at the back. On the wings are Munarring and Aiamara. Aiamara will be a part of the defence for a decade to come, easily. Breukelaar also looks like he'll be here for another 10 years at the least. Pott is playing at his top, and is sometimes outshown by younger teammates, but the experienced Johnho United defender combines quality with communication, which happens to be quite rare among our ranks for now - and that pushes him over the threshold.

As far as adjustments for the second half of qualification go: Juliasterinthen has it easy. The team is playing at a decently high level (maybe not as good as during World Cup 86's qualification, but still) with a few opportunities for improvement at the centreback position, at the attacking midfield position, and the second striker position. Ensaunden doesn't make football look as easy as Longchambon, who we should see play a bit more often in turn. Vaugrenard is lost between midfield and attack a little, unavailable for long passes, which seems to be a form thing. We know he can do better - it's what he's done for the last five years for the Dragonflies.
Trigramme: KOR - Demonym: Ko-orenite - Population: 27.270.096
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Champions 1x CoH - 1x AOCAF - 1x WBC - 4x World Bowl - 4x RUWC - 1x RLWC - 1x IBC - 2x T20 WC - 1x HWC - 1x Beach Cup
Runners-up 1x World Cup - 1x AOCAF - 1x WBC - 2x World Bowl - 1x WCoH - 4x IBC - 1x AOHC - 1x GCF Test Cricket - 2x RUWC - 1x WLC - 1x FHWC
Hosts 1x World Bowl - 1x WCOH - 1x T20 WC - 1x RUWC - 1x FHWC

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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Xanneria » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:19 pm

Xanneria plays in the mud for 3 point swing against Hapilopper!
excerpts from http://www.xtrasports.xan/nationalteam.htm

HAPILOPPER - In a sloppy mud filled rain fest that was more like a slippery game of futsal with slick spike less conditions of a summer game in Saint Geoffrystown, Xanneria pulled off a critical 3 point gain on the field taking down the Haps 2-1 after a late penalty kick goal by Doby Bunkirk. A Nate Ellis faux pax sent the Maroons an extra two points,a s the controversial Hap defender. In the 82nd Minute a waterlogged Kyle Falcon attempted a shot at the goal of the Haps guarded now by longtime Northshore FC CK and future Rome Beach GK Cooter Harris, when Ellis and Harris took a dive at the ball but with Nate's timing the ball hit the wrist of the controversial defender and bounced over poor Cooter's head and the goal in general. The ref a Esportivan from nearby Squidroidia was more than willing to call a handball on Ellis even though replays would debate it ever got close to his hand, the ref called handball and since Ellis was in the box the Maroons and designated PK taker, Liv Brownstreet was given a Penelty Kick. Brownstreet usually plays off the bench for the NT if needed but was given the start against Hapilopper as Rhule wanted more domestic players in the game to counter the three big name Hapilopper players who play in Xanneria. After winning the chance to get the Penelty Kicks in the game Brownstreet got one just above the outstretched arms of Harris. It wasn't a good day all around for Ellis, aside from a totally botched penalty call late, he was seen multiple times on the ground and multiple times looked Plussed over the non-yellow cards the ref was giving out. In the end it's to been seen how much property damage will done by Ellis after game. Next up for the

Xanneria - 2
Brower 19'
Brownstreet 89'

Hapilopper - 1
East 62'

Stop the other teams Presses! Victory gives Maroons 6 point swing!
excerpts from http://www.xtrasports.xan/nationalteam.htm

NORTH JAPAN - under the suspicious eyes of a beloved national leader we know nothing about, the Xannerian Maroons took a 2-1 win over the North Japanese national team to score six points. Despite an early slugest of a game, where for over an hour the game was a pass back and forth-fest, the Maroons won, but the celebrations were non-existent. The North Japanese are a very unknown nation tot he people of Xanneria, but from intel reports and the intuition of coach Rhule, the Maroons heads were kept safe from the ire of the dictator of North Japan. In the end a short burts of two goals by Brower anf Kyle Falcon saw the Xannerians cruise to a lovely 3-1 dominate victory over the NorthJapanese, Unlike the other game where Rhule decided to use the Xannerian keep-a-way tactic the goals came late as North Japan did play a more surgical and precise passing game and kept posseassion as needed, but as the game wore on the lack of substitutions for NJ eventually lead to cracks being exposed.

Up next is a game against Vdara who cleaned the clocks of the Baker Park National team 4-1. According to noted Audioslavian sportswriter, amateur footballing historian and WA recognized entity Jeremy Jaffacake, this game is for the the Linear Title of the World heavyweight championship of Football. We don't know exactly how it works, but we'd love to win it!.

Xanneria - 3
Falcon 22' 71'
Brower 85'

North Japan - 1
Hwan Kwang-Ho 55'
Xanneria: My main nation
NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM: Maroons - Record 80-23-59 (W-D-L) (This may not be 100% accurate)
FIRST CONTEST: Copa Esportiva 23
FIRST GAME: Vangazaland 3-1 Xanneria
FIRST WIN: 5-3 vs Qingland
LARGEST MOV: 5-0 vs Pineapple Porcupines/ 7-2 vs Starcom Racing/5-0 vs HAIKU
CHAMPIONSHIPS:Baptism of Fire 69 (Nice!) winner / Group Winner CE24
Non Association Football Stats
NSCF TEAMS: Xannerian Polytechnic
NSSCRA: Cars #10,12,16

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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Sargossa » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:35 pm

They say football can be a force for good. It can certainly be a force for investment. A couple of decades ago this part of the city of Jucaro was a squalid fishing port and motley collection of crumbling industrial buildings. Now the grotty fishing trawlers have been replaced with sleek sailing vessels and the decaying warehouses have been replaced with upmarket eateries and trendy wine bars. There was even a glittering superyacht bobbing in the cool blue waters at one end of the South Quays, close to where the water of the harbour met the wider Carrasco Bay. That particular vessel was The Naiad, plaything of the ultra-wealthy Bonilla family. But the yacht was not the only demonstration of the Bonilla’s local importance.

The catalyst for the rebirth of the South Quays district of the city lay just on its edge, where the Quays nestled against the affluent Alianza district. It was here that Victor Bonilla chose as the site for a new home for the football club he owned. Alianza Jucaro, the club of the city’s elite, had been stuck in the Segunda Division for most of its life before the bottomless resources of the Bonillas was brought to the party. It didn’t take long for the team to first win promotion and then to establish themselves within the top flight. But a top division team needed a top division home and a large construction project was soon underway. A shopping centre, a hotel and a cinema formed part of the plans but the centrepiece was a 75,000 seater football stadium. The edifice, naturally christened The Bonilla Arena, formed the catalyst for the regeneration of the entire area. The growth rippled out in waves, dragging the wider South Quays up with it.

Today diners at those upmarket eateries were treated to a slightly different ambiance. Sat at tables outside, awnings rolled out to protect against the light drizzle being thrown at the city from Carrasco Bay, the diners occasionally paused in their conversations as from down the street tens of thousands of voices roared in unison. Five almighty spikes in volume rolled across the quayside, one each for the goals the national team were currently putting passed Ibixa. There may have been an element of frustration to the performance, having just gone to Mytanija and received something of a trouncing. Ibixa were now suffering the fallout from that performance as the Corsairs laid into them, scoring five. That result in Mytanija wasn’t the only frustration. Little Ibixa managed a couple of goals of their own and that there was the crux of the problem. No team in Group 8 had scored more than Sargossa. Minnows Emastalia and rock bottom Cirrus Azale were the only sides to concede more. Which is why, with seven rounds of matches remaining, it looked like the World Cup itself would be something that happened to other people.
Champions: Cup of Harmony 41 / Di Bradini Cup 13 / Copa Rushmori V / Copa Rushmori XIV / Copa Rushmori XX
Sargossa at the Olympics

" . . . those dictatorship-loving thundertwats . . ."

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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Mytanija » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:45 pm

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11

The car rolled through the grey streets of the Votavova neighbourhood. The buildings here were clustered close together, built hastily on-top of one another by people in a rush. There was still some tenement housing, all cracked red-brick and wrought-iron fire escapes, which hadn’t yet been cleared. For all the talk of the Provisional Government getting Mytanija back on its feet there wasn’t much sign of it here in the Votavova. Old political posters curled off walls, lampposts and obsolete telephone boxes. ‘For the workers of Mytanija! Vote PsD’ they screamed, bright red paper displaying their communist sympathies for all to see. This was a heavily working-class area, with plenty on the poverty line or just above it, some said it was the birthplace of communism in Mytanija – but the Thessians would argue that was a title which belonged to them.

The football stadium, Kotrba, hulked over this part of the Votavova. The 55,000 capacity home of Dinamo Esca would be hosting a game later in World Cup qualifying against group minnows Cirrus Azale. The area would come to life for that, with people in the streets and plenty of noise, the neighbourhood’s residents wouldn’t be the ones going to the game though. They’d have to watch at home or listen on the radio, the FSM ticket prices pricing them out of watching their country play. The tourists which would make their way to Kotrba could be easy pickings for those who liked to make money illicitly. Pickpockets and muggers would have a field day. The car rolled past a few of the high rises which were dotted around the Votavova, they were built in a different era to the hastily built tenements but were put up just as fast. They were cheap, designed to accommodate a new generation of people who either moved to the capital in search of work or were born in Esca but couldn’t afford to live anywhere else. The people in the Votavova were all there for the same reason.

Zenit Esca’s stadium Turjaska was at the other end of the neighbourhood and that was nearer to where Eva and Tomas were heading. As ever in Mytanija, people and places could be just as easily categorised by sports as they could be anything else. The geography of cities was defined by football teams and if not football teams by some other sport, maybe handball or basketball. A whole set of smaller provincial towns around the country were defined by their ice hockey team. It was an interesting phenomenon and one which the detached observer may note wryly, but for the people in these places the sports teams were crucial parts of their lives – often providing them with the only joy in otherwise extremely difficult lives where they lived payslip to payslip. The poverty of Mytanija was an embarrassment to those in the Provisional Government, but they hadn’t done all that much about it. Whoever won the upcoming election would be a welcome improvement, if only because they would be responsible for whatever happened in the next few years, the Provisional Government had gotten away with so much because they had been entirely unaccountable. A supposedly technocratic government designed to get the country back on its feet. Empty promises which inevitably went unfulfilled.

Eva and Tomas had chosen to make this journey in an unmarked car. The Policija wouldn’t usually send a car into the Votavova, it would usually be an armoured vehicle, just in case. An unmarked car would be better suited to what they were trying to do though, they didn’t want anybody to have any suspicion that they were on their way. When one of the Policija’s armoured vans drove through the Votavova the neighbourhood’s children would throw stones at the vehicle, the noise of the stones bouncing off the van’s armour plating made quite a din and would give people in the area fair warning that the cops were about. Eva and Tomas didn’t want anybody to get any ideas about leaving before they had the chance to speak to them, especially someone like Éléonore Bobec who might have information on Tomica Vjeranovic’s whereabouts. The jackpot would be to find him there, staying with her, but they knew that that was unlikely. They had to use an unmarked car to even have a chance, though.

Eva looked out at some of the small squares between the tightly-packed buildings and high-rises as Tomas drove, there was the hustle and bustle of the area’s daily markets: people selling fruit and vegetables, some hawking fake designer clothing and bags, others flaunting fresh fish and meat which had arrived in Esca that morning. People were greeting each other as they milled around the different stalls, people hugged and laughed. The people were poor, but the sense of community was well and truly alive. That didn’t put food on the table for them though, Eva thought. It was a different face to that which most people would see though, even within Mytanija the image of neighbourhoods like the Votavova was one of crime and strife. A community living together where somebody would steal from their next-door neighbour if they needed something. That didn’t seem to be what Eva was seeing right now though.

“I think it’s up here.” Tomas said, gesturing with his left hand. He had pointed over towards the left. There was a squat housing estate, none of the buildings were taller than three storeys and there was no green space. This housing estate encircled a square which had one tower block on each corner. That was where they were headed. “I need to find somewhere to park.”

“Yeah.” Eva replied, this may prove to be a difficult task. Groups of young men were hanging around, some drinking cans of beer, nearly all smoking cigarettes or perhaps more likely joints. The smell of cannabis weighed heavy in the air and they could even smell it inside the car. “We want to be able to drive back to the station.”

“Tell me about it.” Tomas said as he drove more slowly. Their options were limited. Even an unmarked car could be noticeable to the people who lived here if it wasn’t one they were used to seeing around. The bottom floor of one of the tower blocks was a row of shops, with the entrance to the flats in between a hairdressers and a convenience store. There were a few parking spaces in front of the shops, the only one which was taken had a burnt out old Astograthian Lantzia sat in it. Whoever had burnt it out was perhaps responsible enough to be the one who had taken its tyres and leave it on bricks before they did so. “Here might have to do.”

“Yeah, I’m not sure there’s anywhere else. At least here there’s the shops, we can’t leave it over by those lads.” Eva said. “We might need a taxi to get home, though.”

“Let’s hope they just decide to key the car or something rather than take it for a joyride.”

“Yeah, I suppose. Come on then.” Eva said, opening the car door and getting out. She could see the group of men looking over at her. She was glad the car was in the way, she was sure they’d probably wolf-whistle or something, boys just being boys or whatever they’d do to defend it. Tomas being there was also helpful, otherwise they’d probably be coming over and trying to chat her up. She walked around the car and Tomas joined her and ah, there it was the highly predictable wolf-whistle. It was followed by a ripple of laughter among the group of young men. There was talk of a new generation of Mytanar men being different to generations gone by, but it wasn’t here, apparently.

“Ignore them. This way.” Tomas muttered. They walked quickly, the sooner they were inside somewhere the better. People seemed to have a sixth sense for knowing people were cops in areas like the Votavova, being inside and away from suspicious eyes was the quickest way of combatting that. They were heading for the third floor of one of the more squat buildings, not the tower blocks, so they strode up steps and walked forward and back on themselves as they snaked up. At the front of each floor was a wide walkway, almost a balcony, but people had seats sat outside and old grandmothers sat in some watching the world go by. Other flats had washing hung outside, in the open air, instead of gardens these people had this.

They reached the third floor and headed along the walkway, Eva looked out and could see the group of men and from up there they suddenly seemed much less intimidating. There was an old couple sat outside their flat on a pair of old wicker chairs playing cards, they smiled as Eva and Tomas walked past. There was then three flats in a row which had no lights on, two had smashed windows, those two looked to be derelict. A dog was barking in the third one and outside on the walkway there was a few small aluminium wraps, a sure sign that whoever was inside was a drug user. It was the final flat that Eva and Tomas were going to though and there was nothing outside this one, except a small flowerpot with a small shoot protruding from the soil. There was a light on inside and the small slit in the door where the inhabitants’ name would go read BOBEC. This was the place. Tomas looked at Eva and raised an eyebrow.

“Looks like we’re here.” He said, reaching out and rapping his knuckles on the door three times. There was nothing at first, but then a couple of bumps could be heard from inside. Somebody was in at least. Then footsteps from inside moved closer and finally the door opened, it was a lady, perhaps in her mid-twenties. She had crimson red hair, probably dyed and was dressed from head to toe in black apart from a pair of slippers on her feet which were the same colour as her hair. She had her head turned back inside as she opened the door.

“I thought— ” She began, turning to face Eva and Tomas as she did so. “Oh.” She stopped, evidently not who she had been expecting.

“Éléonore Bobec?” Eva asked. She didn’t need an answer, this is who they were looking to speak to. She pulled out her Policija badge. “We’re from the Policija. We were hoping to ask you some questions, may we come inside?”

Éléonore Bobec looked around them, peering out along the walkway, but she wasn’t able to see past them properly. Then looked back inside. Her complexion had changed ever so slightly, her skin had whitened. She didn’t seem entirely comfortable to be speaking to two officers from the Policija. She sighed.

“I suppose you had better come in.” She said, gesturing for Eva and Tomas to come inside. As they entered she looked out the door, peering along the walkway before following them inside.

Tomica had a plastic bag filled with different items from the market, Éléonore had sent him to get a few bits as they were making a stew later on. He would be safe enough walking around the estate, he just kept his cap on at all times and didn’t speak to anyone for too long. It gave him a chance to get outside, to interact with people and meant he wasn’t cooped up inside all day. He had been experiencing a little bit of cabin fever in recent days, they had noticed an increase Policija presence around the area and he stayed inside more as a result. As soon as he started staying inside Éléonore said that it the amount of officers she spotted had died down. It was surely just a coincidence, but it raised Tomica’s suspicions just a little. He had spent his whole life on the run from people, whether it be homeowners when he was in the act of burglary or cops chasing him around graveyards, he hadn’t stayed out of jail for most of that time because he was relaxed about these kind of things.

Getting out of the flat and milling around with people reminded him of being back home in Visoravna as a boy, getting dragged around by the hand as they went from stall to stall picking up food or, more often, alcohol. His father’s drink problem had been a defining part of his youth, Éléonore was a kindred spirit in that respect. They both knew what that was like. He wasn’t proud of his past which nearly had her going down the same route with addiction, but she was cleaning herself up now and he was pleased that he was at least playing a part in that. Whatever ended up happening he would try to help her set herself up, once he had the money to help, it might help to salve his conscience a little.

He strolled away from the market and across the small square, the four tower blocks which were ubiquitous with this area of the Votavova occupying a corner each, the small housing estates which encircled them were well known for being some of the very roughest places in the whole of Mytanija. As much as Tomica liked the finer things he couldn’t help but smirk to himself at the juxtaposition of that part of his life with the places he tended to occupy, the two couldn’t be further apart. He had to find the small points of amusement where he could. Vedran had been difficult recently, he hadn’t been answering his calls. He was growing a little more frustrated each time he didn’t pick-up. He knew that the process of getting a buyer for the paintings was fraught with difficulty, but he needed constant communication at the moment. He was living a charmed life, he needed updating where possible.

He walked past the shops and the burnt out car which he had grown so familiar with. There was another vehicle parked in another one of the spaces, which was odd, there was never any other cars parked there. Nobody ever risked it once they had seen the fate that the other one had met. A group of young men were gathered, drinking beers and smoking cigarettes and weed, they were looking his way. Tomica looked back their way. He didn’t know any of them, but they could easily have been him twenty years ago. It was the circle of life, he thought. He looked away and kept on walking.

“Hey!” A shout came from behind him. Tomica ignored it, it would probably be for somebody else. “Hey!” There it was again, Tomica turned around. The group were all looking his way. He gestured to himself, were they shouting at him? “Yeah, you. Come over.”

“For fuck’s sake,” Tomica muttered to himself. He didn’t much fancy getting his pockets inspected by a group of young chancers, but he could hardly ignore them. He didn’t fancy having to run from them either. As he walked over they continued their conversations, when he reached the group they parted to make space for him. One of them stubbed out a cigarette underfoot before taking his cap off.

“Alright mate,” He started. “Thought we’d warn you, but that car you were looking at, the one parked outside the shops. We reckon it is Policija. Thought we’d warn you as you were walking in the direction they went.”

“The unmarked one?” Tomica said, looking over towards it. He didn’t mean it to sound as if he was taking the piss, but it came out that way a bit. The guy had his cap in hand and glared at him.

“Well they don’t all drive around in those fucking armoured jeeps, you know?” He said. “We just thought we’d mention it. We don’t like them pigs being here and we don’t like people being lifted either. I don’t know you but you’re heading that way, I thought you’d like a heads up.”

“Yeah, sorry I was just surprised. It’s not often they bother sending unmarked cars here.” Tomica replied, the cap guy nodded. “Cheers though, I do appreciate the heads up, that’s good of you lads.”

“No bother mate. You’re welcome to stay here if you need to. I’m sure they aren’t looking for you though.” The cap guy chuckled. Tomica allowed himself a wry smile.

“You know what? That might be helpful.” He said. “Can’t be having them stopping me for having a shopping bag in hand can I?” He laughed, the group chuckled.

“Nah, you’re welcome to stay here mate. I’m Mladen.” The cap guy, now Mladen, said. “Fancy a beer?”

“Always.” Tomica replied. It was barely lunchtime, but when wasn’t it time for a beer? He could stick around and see if they were cops and then he could go back and have a nice evening with Éléonore. Shit, he thought, what about Éléonore? Tomica’s mind raced. That might be who they were going to see. What if Éléonore had grown tired of him and sold him out? Maybe that was why she had sent him to the shops. As the group’s previous conversations continued Tomica sipped his beer, thoughts moving a million kilometres an hour. Maybe things had gotten to her, maybe he was overthinking it all. He wasn’t sure what to think.
Federal Republic of Mytannion

Capital: Esca
Population: c. 49,600,000
Demonym: Mytanar

Interested in Mytanar sport? Visit the Mytanski sportski mediji web page

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Posts: 1498
Founded: Feb 04, 2011
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Astograth » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:46 pm

Zaindariak presents…

The no. 1 cult footballing podcast in Astograth, with your hosts Ibon and Mantzia
Originally dedicated to the Audioslavian National League, then it spiralled out of control

Transcribed and translated by Transkribia, sign up at Transkribia.asg/DSG for the full script and a 30-day free trial

Ibon: … haven’t done mailbag in a while, have we?

Mantzia: You’re the mailbag keeper, Ibon.

Ibon: Yes, I- I get distracted. We just run out of time a lot! Two hours of podcast a week just isn’t enough.

Mantzia: You know what’d be better than that? Two hours of podcast but twice a week.

Ibon: What! That’s crazy!

Mantzia: What if I told you it already exists, and you can get an extra Daineri Starting Goalkeeper every single week, plus access an entire back catalogue, for just 2 diru a month?

Ibon: I’d say you’re out of your mind, Mantzia.

Mantzia: Well it can’t just be me, because you can go and do exactly that at Zaindariak, that’s Zaindariak dot asg, and subscribe at the lowest tier for just 2 diru a month, which gets you access to every prior and future premium episode of the pod!

Ibon: And that’s not all! If you get five more people to subscribe to the podcast using your special code, you get your subscription refunded! That’s right! This is not a pyramid scheme!

Mantzia: Absolutely not. And there’s no better time to subscribe than now, because on the premium episodes we’re doing one of our signature Deep Dive series, this time into season 7 of the LigAnaia. Now, let’s see the mailbag.

Ibon: OK, I’ve got one here from my boy Garaile from Gesterlake, asking who we think is going to win the World Cup final: Farfadillis or Vilita. Hang on, that’s- uh, I guess we hadn’t gotten around to that one. My bad. Here’s another: Aisone from Biazterri asks for a straight answer on what team Mantzia supports.

Mantzia: …Ibon, we did that reveal years ago. Urbizania Wanderers, for the record – same as always.

Ibon: Uhhhh, yeah. Let me scrap the mailbag real quick, let’s go off twii.tur. Aaaaand there’s a lot of fans asking for pictures of our feet!

Mantzia: OK, enough. Here’s a question for you: playing a qualifier in Bakartirla, whose idea was that?

Ibon: Gerhard Thunder’s, I’ve heard.

Mantzia: Really. Interesting. What’s your source on that?

Ibon: Ha ha, you know I’m a serious journalist and can’t do that. But I’ll tell you off air. Anyway, yeah, supposedly he found it such hell to play there he thought it would make a great home base for qualifiers.

Mantzia: People didn’t like it.

Ibon: Well, the people in Bakartirla were thrilled, that’s for sure. All, like, 15 of them. With apologies to our listeners from there.

Mantzia: Yeah, I didn’t like it. I mean sure, you get all the wind and the chill and everything, it’s a pretty miserable place to take the away team – but it’s also miserable as hell for us! There’s not a single player from Bakartirla on the squad, or who’s even played for them. If you’re in the league you dread that away day at Buccaneers, it’s awful. So I can see some sense in it, I think it’s a good idea by Thunder to try it out, but not again. Please.

Ibon: Plus there’s no replacing that Grand Duke’s atmosphere. There just isn’t. That’s Olibondeka’s stadium, accept no substitutes.

Mantzia: Agreed. Not convinced by this touring schedule, to be honest.

Ibon: And what a touring schedule we have, even abroad. We have Kapytaal in Maal to look forward to next, the Imperial Arena in Vogsphere. Big matches. Huge.

Mantzia: And Stadio Ibrosikis?

Ibon: It looks vaguely familiar, you know.

Mantzia: I’m mostly concerned with what’s underneath it.

Ibon: The bear? It’s a guy in a suit, Mantzia.

Mantzia: Look, you never know. You just never know.

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Posts: 121
Founded: Jun 12, 2018
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Saltstead » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:51 pm

Asħwells Tijden
Vor Saxlandes en Såutsteides Königlikstad

The World Cup of Flags: Qualifying Groups 6, 7 and 8

Annelise Martijns from the Borough of Königsplaas

In celebration of the upcoming football World Cup in Ethane and Taeshan, Asħwells Tijden is running a special series: the World Cup of Flags. Our goal here is to sift through the cruft to find the most brilliant flags in the multiverse. Or at least among footballing nations. We are first winnowing the flags down to 32, with Ethane and Taeshan qualifying for our finals by right.

We are deciding the qualifying groups via five criterion: simplicity, symbolism, colour use, uniqueness and absence of text and seals. A score of zero represents complete failure on a particular criterion. Two represents success: either the criterion is fully met or the criterion is broken in a way that is nonetheless effective. One represents partial success, such as criterion being met in a way that nonetheless compromises the design of the flag. We reserve the right to award half points where we believe a flag to be on the line between two integer scores.

In our last instalment, we awarded three nations the honour of a perfect score: Flavovespia, Vdara and Savojarna. These nations bring our finals field up to eight, with Zwangzug, Havynwilde and Electrum joining the ranks of our runners-up. Once again, we will advance three flags to the finals and place three more in contention for our playoffs.

Group 6
One of the most questionable decision in this group was made by Cosumar, who ultimately shot themselves in the foot by registering their flag as “rippled”. The flag is a representation of the two things Cosumar is best known for—dragons and space exploration—and the only bad thing we can say about the flag itself is that the dragon almost looks black and does not stand out from the silver field properly, which ultimately cost a point. That, combined with the Ripple Penalty, brings Cosumar down to a 7 out of 10.

San Ortelio ultimately win out here. The most questionable decision is colouring the stars in the corner a shade of green that appears indistinguishable from the sky blue field at a distance, but the rest of the flag carries itself strongly enough that you can still recognise it as San Ortelio. All they need to do is change the colour of the stars to something more distinct and it would score a perfect 10, but given the circumstances, a 9 out of 10 will do.

The flag of Qasden violates the heraldic “rule of tincture”, which says that you should only put silver or gold next to colours that are not silver or gold, but when they simply border each other and the blue is dark enough, it is fine to ignore the rule. But without the cross charge in the upper left corner, strategically placed for minimal wear and tear, the flag would be completely indistinct. It is probably there simply because it looks good, so we give Qasden an 8 out of 10 with a note that we may revise the score upward if Qasdonian authorities clarify that there is actually meaning behind the flag.

And for the dishonourable mention, we have: Gouvanarch: the juxtaposition of orange with black was an utterly bizarre decision. Now if it was not for the ermine canton, we would be forgiving, but alas, that is not the case. Combined with our infamous Ripple Penalty, Gouvanarch tie the sickly green plant of Treekidistan for last place on 6 out of 10.

Group 7
“Aposematism” is a phenomenon where an animal advertises that potential predators should not attack or eat it. One of the forms this can take is “warning colouration”, which indicates that the animal is toxic or foul-tasting. Farfadillis takes this concept and applies it vexillography: if you value your life, you should absolutely not visit Farfadillis and the flag adequately gets that message across. Poisonous red, deathly black and radioactive green are not the colours of a nation that attracts tourists who are anything but completely reckless: 10 out of 10.

Unfortunately, we also have another flag is this group that gets our perfect mark and we want to thank Krytenia for making our jobs difficult. Surrounding one large star with five smaller ones is quite honestly the most brilliant way of symbolising “unity in diversity” that we have seen thus far; looking at the flag, it is no surprise to learn that Krytenia is technically called the “United Provinces”. That the AOCAF 60 co-hosts both appeared in the same group and got the same score is quite the coincidence, but Farfadillis win for the simple fact that we got to seamlessly use the word “aposematism” in describing their flag.

Sadly, that means that Caryton miss out here. The very good boi depicted on the flag is the national animal and the figurehead of the nation: Caryton is a nation that views a dog as a deliverer of miracles and a sacred religious figure. Our only qualm is the cream-coloured field, which necessitates outlining the golden retriever in black. In any other group, Caryton would have been a strong contender, but going up against Krytenia and Farfadillis means that Caryton will instead miss out on a 9 out of 10.

Conversely, Socialist New Britain have to go down for the worst flag in the group, scoring a measly 2 out 10. Socialist New Britain have serious “Murphtannia but socialist” vibes. The colours are nice and we get that Socialist New Britain is socialist, but maybe tone the flag down a little bit and wash off the mud. In this case, less would most definitely be more. Bongo Johnson can breath a very narrow sigh of relief.

Group 8
This is a painful group. Half of them ruined their flags by registering them as “rippled” and two others—Cirrus Azale and Critical Operations—have to be disqualified for not actually having flags. That leaves us with three flags in contention.

Huayramarca have a triband flag, which we have noted gets same-y without some kind of distinguishing mark. Unfortunately, Huayramarca opted to use their coat of arms, which happens to depict banners that look very much like the flag of Huayramarca itself. Flagception! Sadly, the use of the arms and the complete lack of distinctiveness without them means that Huayramarca score a mere 6 out of 10.

The rose of Mytanija could lose some detail and still be an effectively distinguishing mark for the green-white-orange tricolour. In fact, the use of orange is also a fairly distinctive feature of the flag of Mytanija. The only problem is that we are not quite sure what the rose means and the fact that we cannot deduce any means that we have to give Mytanija an 8 out of 10.

And finally, the flag of Audioslavia is a load of bull. Another tricolour flag, this time featuring black sandwiched between the uniquely Audioslavian claret and green, Audioslavia depict a bull on a hill with a moon in the background as their distinguishing mark. Good luck trying to sketch it, but it is “Audioslavia” refined to a single piece of cloth. To avoid a diplomatic incident with our boat-neighbours in Cathair, we must award the flag at least a 9 out of 10. If the black did not disappear at a distance, it would be a perfect 10.

Unfortunately, Caryton were the single unluckiest nation in the qualifiers, missing out on even a playoff against two strong contenders. Farfadillis and Krytenia receive the golden award and San Ortelio and Audioslavia go straight through to the finals. Qasden and Mytanija will ultimately face our playoffs, with Filindostan and Zwangzug still holding on to automatic tickets.

Next time in our World Cup of Flags series, we will rank the flags of qualifying groups 9, 10 and 11. ⁕
In other news:
  • Football: New Lusitania slip against Jeruselem and Saltstead pull level with a redemptive win over Oberour Ar Moro
  • His Majesty the King awards the Medal of the Silver Horse to a golden retriever for sniffing out landmines in Southmark
  • The Lord Mayor of Ashwell unveils a new city partnership plan with the old Omerican royal capital of Charlescourt

The Royal Saltsteadish Football Association
Royal House of Sport, Ashwell

[REDACTED] : Saltstead
World Cup 87 qualifying group stage — Matchday 12
Unknown Stadium, Unknown City, [REDACTED]

Starting line-up (5–4–1): Christijn Sänt-Andreas (captain); Richard Christopħe, Jan-Pijr Åudenberg, Serena van Middelkamp, Catharine de Vriħt; Nicholas Tiberius, Benni Sħåul, Thomas Lions, Adelaide de Jong, Wim Amistad; Reinhard Åubreħtssen
Substitute bench: Robert-Jan van Daal, Marianne Åudershof; Micħäl Aurelius, Pijr Josefssen, Maxime Crabshaas, Victoria Rothöüf; Mina Ratmaker, Constantijn van Bleck, Aleksa Pascal, Zacharias van den Slåp, Natasħa Aħterop; Haråud Haråudssen

Saltstead : Banija
World Cup 87 qualifying group stage — Matchday 13
King William VII National Park, Ashwell, Saltstead

Starting line-up (5–4–1): Kathrinita Äsħes (captain); Gunner Stepħenssen, Sebastien van Can, Dijter Ackerdiħ, Tobias Thomassen, Yorg Handel; Marina Jager, Violeta Igesleven, Margaretha Wilheumssen, Aleksa le Duc; Stepħanie Withöüf
Substitute bench: Adam van Middelkamp, Julij Kåler; Frans Richard, Rokus Michahels, Anne Hodmaker, Johan van Tilborg, Constantijn Kåler; Johanne Geuberts, Nico Swart, Theodor Felicianus, Nico Joxepħssen; Edvard Rothås

Last edited by Saltstead on Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
iTLD: .zs
Demonym: Saltsteader
Adjectival: Saltsteadish
This nation does not necessarily reflect my actual political views
Discontinue use if rash develops
Don’t ⬋ play ⬋ with ⬋ fire
Qusmo - 06/08/2019

Maybe the real World Cup title was the friends we made along the way.
This space intentionally left
We are and shall be
Nothing more, nothing less



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