Q & A: Greenland's game kept on ice

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Q. What, if any, is the status of football in Greenland? Does Greenland have a national team? Is there a league? Are there any pitches?

A. The status of football in Greenland appears to be, as it were, 'on ice'. The vast majority of the country is covered by a massive ice sheet and, even if it were possible to squeeze in pitches on the relatively ice-free coastal regions, play would doubtless be affected by the prevailing adverse climatic conditions: the polar climate ensures that the country's weather is always uncertain and can suddenly change from bright sunshine to dense fog or heavy falls of snow and icy winds. Indeed day-trippers from Iceland to Greenland are advised not to travel on days when changing weather conditions in Greenland might prevent their return to Iceland on the same day.

I can find no evidence of football being played at any time, despite the fact that, perhaps ironically, the country was discovered over 1,000 years ago, by Eric the Red . . . The Stanley Gibbons stamp catalogue shows that the only competitive sport to have been depicted on a Greenland stamp was arm-wrestling in 1976 although, in 1986, another stamp depicted what is described as 'Traditional Sport - Towing a man on a Float'.

Finally, Greg Oliver's Guinness Record of Football makes no mention of any Greenlandic teams or league. So 'God's Frozen People' is strictly one for the Fantasy League. - Adrian Brodkin, London N2

Q. In 1934 England played Australia in a Test match in London. The match was shared between Lord's and The Oval, three days at each. Was this a one-off, or were London Test matches frequently shared between the two grounds? How was the problem of the different states of the two wickets overcome?

A. John Hugh Morris's question about the 1934 Test match being 'shared' between Lord's and The Oval is a puzzling one. Where on earth did he get this information from? The matches were completely separate. At Lord's, in June (the second Test), England won by an innings and 38 runs, Verity taking 14 wickets in a day on a rain- affected wicket. In August at The Oval (the fifth Test, which I saw) Australia won by 542 runs, with Bradman and Ponsford making double-hundreds and Woolley out for 4 and 0, in his last Test match. So these matches were not shared in any way, not to my knowledge (70 years following Test cricket). Has any Test match ever been shared between Lord's and The Oval, or any other Test grounds. - Donald Mundy, Walton-on-Thames

Q. In baseball why does a batter who has hit a home run still have to trot round all the bases?

A. It's the rule; a run is scored only when a runner safely touches home plate - having previously gained first, second and third bases. But 'have to' trot? There's never been a ballplayer who did not relish on every occasion that brief lap of honour. - Jack Bolton, Winfarthing, Norfolk

Q: Which football league or FA Carling Premiership clubs have instituted changes in their first-choice kit and colours since their foundation? Leeds United and Coventry City are two I have been advised who have done this.

A. I think that Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC, who were members of the League between 1908 and 1970, provide an excellent example. The club was formed in 1907 with the conversion of the original Bradford FC from rugby football to 'soccer' and adopted its predecessor's original colours of red, gold and black with horizontally striped shirts in a unique rugby-style kit.

The appointment of a new manager, the Scotsman Tom Maley, in February 1911, was followed by a change in club colours with green and white horizontally striped shirts and white shorts in the same style as Celtic. Avenue wore this in the First Division between 1914 and 1921 but resorted back to their original colours of red, gold and black in 1924 at a time when the club sought promotion from the Third Division (North). In 1958 the club returned to green and white (albeit with vertical stripes) as founder members of the Fourth Division and then finally resorted to red, gold, black and white for its final three seasons in the League.

Bradford Park Avenue could claim distinction for their original colours and rugby-style kit. Interestingly the club's change kit between 1924 and 1958 was identical to the one worn by Bradford Northern RLFC until the late 1980s. Similarly Avenue could possibly claim to be the only club to have worn a green and white first-choice kit in the First Division. - David Wilkins, Bingley


Q. Why do the Greek football and basketball club Panathanaikos play in green and white and have a shamrock as their club emblem? - Rory J O'Connor, Leigh

Q. Has a professonal football team in the English League ever won the FA Cup or any other major trophy and in the same season been relegated? - Dean Kociuba, Doncaster

Q. What is the greatest number of arrests after a game of football in this country? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

Q. Some years ago during a junior football tournament in Singapore a player took a huge kick at the ball, only to see his boot go flying off some 20 feet into the air. The boot came down, striking an opponent on the head. The opponent suffered no injury - save to his dignity - but was immediately awarded a free-kick. Was the referee right, and does this constitute dangerous kicking? And should the ensuing free-kick be taken from the pont where the boot left the foot, or from the point where the other player was standing when it struck him? - A Lam, Nyon, Vaud, Switzerland

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