The lessons of war
Monday 17 June 2002
The theory that World Cup results can be predicted as replays of old wars meets its sternest test today. So far, the theory has held up well, with only one or two appeals on questions of interpretation to an adjudicating committee of historians. England have beaten Argentina, as in 1982; Japan have beaten Russia, as in 1905; Spain defeated Paraguay, as it put down the comuneros rebellion for independence in 1721; and last Saturday's England-Denmark game was a rerun of Admiral Nelson's victory at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801.
As for yesterday, although some Irishmen fought in Spain in the 1930s – possibly on both sides – we are expecting confirmation from someone at least as eminent as Simon Schama that civil wars do not count.
Today, however, pits the United States against Mexico. Theoretically, the game should end with the ceding of California. Just thought we would mention it.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more