Alternate History

Football at the British Empire Games (An Earlier World Cup of Football)

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Football is currently a sport that debuted in the first British Empire Games and will be held at the next British Empire Games in London in four years time.


When the FIFA World Rankings was introduced in 1928, the British teams withdrew from competing in the 1930 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and wanted to put football in the British Empire Games. Without competition all four of the British teams entered the first competition with Australia and host nation Canada joining the competition to make it a six team competition. The British teams dominated with the medals being taken by all of them bar Wales who finished in forth place.

The 1934 and 1938 was the same with Scotland finishing on top of the table with the other two medals going to Wales and England with the Irish Free State/Northern Ireland finishing in fourth place. When 1938 came round, New Zealand and Australia joined but was over-run to finish in fifth and sixth.


Year Host Final Third Place
Gold Medal Score Silver Medal Bronze Medal Score Fourth Place
Canadian Red Ensign 1921-1957
Hamilton, Canada
Flag of Scotland
2–1 Flag of Ireland
Irish Free State
Flag of England
2–0 Flag of Wales
1934 Flag of England
London, England
Flag of Scotland
Round Robin Flag of Wales
Flag of England
Round Robin Flag of Ireland
Irish Free State
Flag of Australia
Sydney, Australia
Flag of Scotland
3–2 Flag of England
Flag of Wales
2–1 Ulster banner
Northern Ireland

All-time medal table

Medals table for football at the British Empire Games

Updated after the 1938 British Empire Games

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Flag of Scotland Scotland 3 0 0 3
2 Flag of England England 0 1 2 3
3 Flag of Wales Wales 0 1 1 2
4 Flag of Ireland Irish Free State 0 1 0 1
Total 3 3 3 9

Note: Irish Free State is not in the Empire

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