If World War II Never Happened: A FIFA World Cup Timeline

Group A: England, Germany, Croatia, Turkey (Our performance in 2000 wasn't really good now, especially when Blazevic started mixing up the squad)
Group B: Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Romania
Group C: Spain, Soviet Union, Serbia, Denmark
Group D: France, Netherlands, Bohemia, Slovakia

Congrats on the 50K :D
UEFA Euro 2000 - Group Stage
Part 74 - Three-For-All
UEFA Euro 2000 - Group Stage

The European Championship was back in England for the first time in 20 years. That was the last time The Three Lions won a title, but their group stage display seemingly promised a 1980 repeat. After edging out Turkey 2-1, the home fans caused an earthquake in London when England beat Germany 2-0. A blistering 3-2 triumph over Croatia cemented England's top spot. Turkey desperately wanted to redeem themselves after a dreadful winless and goalless campaign four years prior. Despite minor improvements in the form of scoring in their loss to England and holding Croatia to a goalless draw, Turkey's tournament would make or break versus Germany. Hakan Sukur ensured they made it with a brace that was left unanswered. Turkey won 2-0. Germany could only manage a 1-1 draw with Croatia and finished dead last. German football was sent into a crisis. Turkey were sent to the quarter-finals.

euro 2000 group a.png

Group A of UEFA Euro 2000.

Hailed as a genuine dark horse contender by many, Romania couldn't rise to the level of top European sides, despite beating Sweden 2-1 in their opener. Italy brushed aside the Romanians 2-0, while Portugal won 1-0 thanks to a last-minute goal. The 'top dogs' of the group, Italy and Portugal, featured in a spectacular 2-2 draw on matchday one. In the end, Italy's superior goal difference rendered them group winners. Sweden flopped miserably, also losing 1-0 to Portugal and 2-1 to Italy in addition to the defeat suffered versus Romania.

euro 2000 group b.png

Group B of UEFA Euro 2000.

Group C was as blistering and dramatic as they get. Serbia didn't feature in just one, but two 3-3 (!) draws - against the title-holding Soviet Union and 1996 semi-finalists Spain. Sandwiched between those stalemates was a crucial 2-0 win over Denmark. Spain also scored twice to beat Denmark, despite suffering a consolation goal. This was followed by an entertaining 2-2 deadlock with the Soviet Union, who brushed aside Denmark 3-0 in the final round. As the group stage concluded, UEFA officials had to dig deep into the tiebreakers to split the top three. Serbia and the Soviet Union advanced. Barely.

euro 2000 group c.png

Group C of UEFA Euro 2000.

Featuring both the European and World Cup runners-up, Bohemia and France, Group D was sure to be a solid one, especially given the inclusion of debutants Slovakia - who had been great in the qualifiers - and the usually solid Dutchmen. Slovakia were unfortunately way out of their depth as they failed to score a single goal in their losses - 3-0 to France, and 2-0 versus rivals Bohemia and the Netherlands. France subsequently defeated Bohemia 2-1 and spectacularly drew 2-2 with the Netherlands to finish in first. Bohemia's opening 1-0 triumph over the Dutch proved to be vital.

euro 2000 group d.png

Group D of UEFA Euro 2000.

Tell me your knockout stage predictions:
euro 2000 knockout 1.png

I swear I've used this title before? Oh well, it fits again. Stay tuned for the knockout stage.

Credit to @Mildtryth for getting the most predictions right (again)!
England-Portugal (Should be close, but Owen, Shearer and co. get through)
Serbia-Bohemia (Nedved dominates the midfield and Bohemia wins)
Italy-Turkey (The dominant Italian defense shuts down Sukur, and Inzaghi scores the winner)
France-USSR (Goes to extra time, but France gets their retribution thanks to Zidane)
UEFA Euro 2000 - Knockout Stage
Part 75 - Match of the Millenium
UEFA Euro 2000 - Knockout Stage

Hosts England got a brilliant start to the knockout stage, leading Portugal 2-0 after just 18 minutes. However, the electric atmosphere was greatly dampened as the Portuguese scored not just one, but twice before the break. Any hint of English optimism completely vanished when Portugal took the lead in the 59th minute. England were never out of the game tactically, though, creating opportunities and restoring national pride and hope when they made it 33 in the 77th minute. As is all too common, the game slowed down during extra time - despite remaining entertaining. Regardless, the sides would be split by penalties. England's opening miss proved devastating. Everyone else scored, including the Englishmen, and Portugal won 5-4. A devastating exit for the hosts, it goes without saying.

Two years prior, France suffered a devastating home loss in the World Cup final to the Soviet Union. Le Bleus were out of blood versus the Soviets, who also held the European title. After an eventful first half, France lead 2-1. Despite intense offensive efforts from the Soviet Union, France defended their lead and advanced.

Bohemia eased into a 2-0 lead against Serbia, who restored hope by getting on the scoresheet less than two minutes into the second half. But Bohemia were always the better team, adding a third and fourth, while Serbia only scored their second in the 92nd minute. The 1996 runners-up Bohemia made it to the semi-finals again.

After a goalless first half, Italy opened the scoring versus Turkey in the 52nd minute. The Turks always stayed in the game and equalized 10 minutes later. However, after 20 additional minutes past, Italy were awarded and converted a penalty to edge out the victory.

As expected of a semi-final, the battle between Portugal and Bohemia was tense. The Portuguese acquired an early lead and, despite playing well, Bohemia failed to level the scoring.

Shortly into the second half, Italy went in front versus France. It appeared to to be the winner, but a last ditch attack saw Le Bleus equalize in the 94th minute! Psychologically devastating for the Italians. Thirteen minutes into extra time, things turned even worse - for Italy - as David Trezeguet made it 2-1 for France. The controversial golden goal rule ensured the score was final.

Both Portugal and France were in their first Euro final in 16 years. In 1984, Le Bleus won 2-1. Who would be victorious in the new millenium? France had the experience of featuring in a World Cup finals two years earlier, but Portugal opened the scoring in the 19th minute. The French equalized a few minutes into the second half. Extra time came - and seemingly went - as penalties approached. Technically, penalties were reached. At least one. Awarded by the Swedish referee. Zidane scored and France were European champions after another golden goal.

euro 2000 knockout 2.png

Knockout stage of UEFA Euro 2000.

Incredibly, ALL of you predicted the same winners. Credit to all of you, I guess?

Stay tuned for the prelude to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which feature a lot of interesting changes.
Prelude to the 2002 FIFA World Cup
Part 76 - Seoul-Searching
Prelude to the 2002 FIFA World Cup

Korea were awarded hosting rights [1] over Mexico and Japan in May 1996. The 2002 FIFA World Cup was played from 31 May to 30 June. Maintaining the previous format, the 32 participating teams were divided into eight groups of four, from which each winner and runner-up would advance to a knockout stage to decide the winner.

The European qualifiers were characterized by a lot of upsets. Slovenia topped a highly competitive qualifying group ahead of France and Serbia to make their World Cup debut. France ultimately eased past Scotland 5-1 on aggregate, despite losing 1-0 in Glasgow, to qualify via the play-offs. Group B saw the biggest shock, with the Republic of Ireland qualifying over the Netherlands and Germany, the latter of whom were eliminated on goal difference [2]. The Netherlands failed to utilize their lifeline and were surprisingly defeated 1-0 on aggreggate by Turkey in the play-offs. Hakan Sukur scored the goal which earned his country a World Cup spot for the first time in history. Despite finishing five whole points behind Portugal, Italy avoided disaster by beating Belgium 4-1 on aggreggate in the play-offs. The fourth play-off saw Romania edge out Bohemia 2-1, making the 2000 Euro semi-finalists a notable absentee again.

Ecuador impressively finished second in the CONMEBOL qualifiers to make their World Cup debut. Senegal was Africa’s lone debutant. Australia edged out Bahrain in the OFC-AFC play-off to qualify for their first World Cup in 28 years. The CONCACAF-CONMEBOL saw Colombia brush aside Honduras [3].

I'm curious to here your group stage predictions:
2002 groups a-d.png

2002 groups e-h.png

[1] South Korea co-hosted the tournament with Japan IOTL. However, Japan still earned a spot via the qualifiers ITTL.

[2] It might seem crazy that Germany failed to qualify since they reached the final IOTL, but they really weren’t great back then. Despite not being bad, the main reason they reached the final IOTL was that they got an easy road there and Oliver Kahn had the tournament of his life. I don’t think they would have qualified from such a tough qualifying group, given how good Ireland was at that time.

[3] There’s no UEFA-AFC play-off ITTL.

Stay tuned for the exciting group stage!
Last edited:
Group A: Korea, Portugal
Group B: Spain, Paraguay
Group C: Brazil, Turkey
Group D: Senegal, Denmark
Group E: Italy, Ireland
Group F: Nigeria, Argentina
Group G: England, Mexico
Group H: Soviet Union, Japan


The CONCACAF-CONMEBOL saw Uruguay brush aside Honduras [3].​

Did they qualify or not? I'm not seeing Uruguay there.
Last edited:
Group A: South Korea, USA, Portugal, Australia
Group B: Spain, Romania, Paraguay, South Africa (Romaina should be slightly better than OTL. The same goes for most of Eastern Europe. While they would never be as good as their communist heydays of OTL, they would also never experience the subsequent collapse due to cronyism and curruption).
Group C: Brazil, Turkey, Costa Rica, China
Group D: Denmark, Senegal, France, Colombia
Group E: Italy, Cameroon, Ireland, Saudi Arabia
Group F: Sweden, Argentina, Iran, Nigeria
Group G: England, Mexico, Croatia, Equador
Group H: Japan, USSR, Slovenia, Tunisia
Last edited:
Correct me if I’m wrong, Japan hosted a previous WC ITTL, no?

And woof, that’s a tough group for USA. Yikes.


Korea, Portugal
Spain, Paraguay
Brazil, Costa Rica
Denmark, Colombia
Ireland, Italy
Sweden, Argentina
England, Mexico
Japan, USSR

I’m presuming a number of wild upsets here, as often happens in World Cups hosted in Asia or the Americas