Q&A : Union card for Dutch

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Q. Both finalists in Euro 96 came from Group C. When was the last time in a major football championship that the two finalists came from the same group?

A. Euro 88, in Germany, was the last major international championship to witness such an occurrence. Holland and the Soviet Union were drawn together in Group Two, which also contained England and the Republic of Ireland, and the Soviet Union ran out 1-0 winners in what was the first game of the tournament for both teams. By the time the sides met in the final, however, the Dutch had recovered to win 2-0, with goals from Gullitt and Van Basten.

But as this championship comprised just eight teams and two groups, rather than the present 16 teams and four groups, such an occurrence was perhaps unsurprising. The 1994-95 Champions League, however, was also made up of 16 teams and four groups; Ajax Amsterdam were drawn in the same group (group D) as Milan, and chalked up 2-0 victories both home and away. The teams met again in the final in Vienna, with Ajax again coming out on top, this time by 1-0 through a goal from Kluivert.

Such a double meeting has happened in just two World Cup competitions. In 1962 Brazil beat Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the final in Chile after a 0- 0 draw at the group stage and in 1954 West Germany triumphed ultimately 3-2 against Hungary in Switzerland, having been beaten 8-3 by Puskas and Co in a group match. - Colin Leckey, Lancaster

Q. Cartworth Moor Cricket Club's ground is just over 1,000ft above sea level on the Ordnance Survey map. Is there a cricket or football match in the United Kingdom at a high altitude?

A. Although I was in Nenthead above Alston, Cumbria, recently, I cannot recall whether or not I saw a sportsfield there. Alternatively, the best bet would seem to be somewhere like Blaenavon, Ebbw Vale or Tredegar.

Without doubt, however, the highest senior football venue in the land is Ironworks Road, the home of the 1995 North League champions, Tow Law Town, which, like Cartworth Moor, stands just above the 1,000ft contour. - John Stagg, Farnham


Q. John Emburey, the Northamptonshire cricketer, received a telephone call 10 minutes before the start of play of the Championship game against his old side Middlesex at Northampton on Thursday summoning him to the High Court in London to give evidence in the Imran Khan libel case. Has there been another incidence of a player called away from the field of play in this or any other manner? - Peter Rackham, Harpenden

Q. Who was the first foreigner to play professional football in Britain? - Huw MacPherson, Sunderland

Q. Can anyone tell me why Tug-of-War is no longer an Olympic sport? - John Prendergast, Bristol

Q. Bearing in mind that George Sharp umpired his first cricket Test match after just four years on the first-class panel, which British umpire has graduated to the international arena in the least time? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a question of your own, write to: Q & A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL

Fax: 0171-293 2894