The Gentleman's Game: An alternate History of Rugby Football

I welcome an AH based on sports. Liked it very much so far, good job guys! I have a minor curiosity... What happened to Juventus TTL?
I welcome an AH based on sports. Liked it very much so far, good job guys! I have a minor curiosity... What happened to Juventus TTL?
They won a couple championships in a row, as stated in an earlier post, and might win more of them, too. They just had bad luck when the Serie A was introduced ahead of schedule, since their OTL results in the previous season, in their OTL regional group, were not that good, and they were stuck in the lower leagues for a short bit.

How do you say "tang ina" in Mandarin Chinese?

The first ever edition of the Asian Cup was held in 1922 in Manila, the Philippines being under American suzerainty; [1] Aside from the home team, led by Barcelona's star Paulino Alcántara [2], the other countries that took part in the tournament were Australia, China, New Zealand, Japan and Turkey. [3] All the matches of the tournament were held at Manila Carnival Grounds, the home turf of the Azkals, with the tournament's winner being granted a spot in the upcoming 1926 World Cup - after France had withdrawn its bid due to a lack of funds, Scotland had been chosen to host it, to welcome the Home Nations back into FIFA's fold.

Group A - Australia, Philippines, Turkey

Australia 3-5 Philippines
1-0 Turkey
Philippines 2-0 Turkey

4 Philippines
2 Australia
0 Turkey

I have lived in Turkey the larger part of my life ... and I know the Armenians. I also know that both Armenians and Turks cannot live together in this country. One of these races has got to go. And I don't blame the Turks for what they are doing to the Armenians. I think that they are entirely justified. The weaker nation must succumb. The Armenians desire to dismember Turkey; they are against the Turks and the Germans in this war, and they therefore have no right to exist here.

The above sentence, coming from the mouth of Hans Humann, the German naval attaché in Constantinople, [4] doomed the Armenian nation inside the pre-Great War borders of the Ottoman Empire; then, the victory of the Central Powers in the Great War allowed Turkey to annex the Russian portion of Armenia, whose inhabitants had helped the Allies along, [5] with predictable results. German money and a fair bit of territorial triage - the Sublime Porte letting its Arab provinces go as a closely aligned state, while reforming as a Kurdish/Turkish double monarchy of sorts along Habsburg lines [6] - helped Constantinople to shed its moniker of Sick Man of Europe but, to this day, the Armenian Genocide remains one of the greatest horrors ever to happen on Earth, with the Sublime Porte's official stance on the subject [7] being perhaps even more appalling.

Maybe that's why Turkey ended last in the group.

Group B - China, Japan, New Zealand

2-0 Japan
China 6-2 New Zealand
Japan 2-2 New Zealand

4 China
1 Japan
1 New Zealand

The marriage of Puyi to one of the many daughters of the Hongxian Emperor did much to keep the Celestial Empire going, [8] maybe even more so than Yuan Shikai's decision not to abolish the Empire's old provinces [9], Japan's defeat in the Great War, and the post-war re-annexation of territories formerly under Russian control. A slightly stabler throne in the Forbidden City might have done much to lift the spirit of the Chinese eleven, that qualified for the final...

Final - Manila Carnival Grounds

China 0-1 Philippines

...but, China did not have a Barcelona player as captain, and Manila could then celebrate the fact that the Philippines were to become the first ever Asian nation to be featured in a World Cup.

[1] As in OTL; however, since the US are more used to association football here, they don't try to push basketball in the archipelago as hard as they did in OTL.
[2] One side effect of the above, is Alcántara deciding to try and lead the Pinoy team to victory, rather than play for Spain as he did in OTL.
[3] Yeah, they're in the Asian federation here.
[4] He said the exact same thing in OTL.
[5] As in OTL.
[6] A solution not dissimilar from one proposed in OTL.
[7] "Yes, we did it and no, we don't feel sorry for it, in fact we celebrate the day we got rid of those vermin".
[8] Real OTL proposal.
[9] A minor POD with huge consequences, as that was what made many go warlord.
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Pictured: something many subjects of Great Britain's African colonies are learning to use quite well.

After the Great War, the sub-Saharan colonies of Belgium, France and Portugal were annexed to the Reich, that began to administer them as Mittelafrika; and while the Germans did not try to annex anything that happened to be subject to the British crown, they certainly didn't do anything to prevent local rebels from bothering His Majesty: the Dervish State, the Sultanate of Darfur and the Transvaal Republic gained their independence from London during the war, [1] while Egypt did so not much later, as the United Kingdom, to compensate for the lack of trade (Germany had forbid France to trade with the United Kingdom, [2] with Mittelafrika and Mitteleuropa doing the same), had begun to prey on the colonies even more so than usual. [3]

Other than Egypt, South Africa and the Boer Republic (the result of the incorporation of the Orange Free State into Transvaal) the other countries that were to take part in the first African Cup were Kenya, Tunisia and Uganda. The Kenyan and Ugandan representatives, however, withdrew, due to quite a lot of trouble at home - the crown's grasp on said colonies not being as firm as it used to be before the Great War. Therefore, only three matches took place in Tunis: in the first match, South Africa beat Tunisia 4-0, while in the second match, Egypt trashed the Boer Republic 7-1.

Final - Municipal Stadium, Tunis, Tunisia

Egypt 3-2 South Africa

Because 1920s Glasgow is exactly the kind of place an early 20th century Egyptian would feel at home in.

[1] OTL rebels, but here they're more successful.
[2] As per OTL German plans.
[3] Malé Rising vibes here, yeah.
They won a couple championships in a row, as stated in an earlier post, and might win more of them, too. They just had bad luck when the Serie A was introduced ahead of schedule, since their OTL results in the previous season, in their OTL regional group, were not that good, and they were stuck in the lower leagues for a short bit.
Ah, sorry, I missed that part. Thanks !

I couldn't find a 1920s picture of King George V Park, so...

Canada weathered the Great War far better than the motherland, due to the fact that it shared a border with a prosperous neutral power that kept trade going even during the conflict; because of this, the many pre-Great War proposals involving the establishment of new Canadian provinces out of the Caribbean possessions of the Crown gained new traction, resulting in the establishment of the following provinces:

  • Bahamas, consisting of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, that is, the Lucayan Archipelago as a whole;
  • Jamaica, consisting of Jamaica proper and the Cayman Islands;
  • Leeward Islands, consisting of the British possessions in the Leeward Islands minus the British Virgin Islands, that were bought by the United States;
  • Windward Islands, consisting of the British possessions in the Windward Islands.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon, on the other hand, was annexed outright to Newfoundland, that had joined Canada around the same time, [1] while British Guiana was partitioned between Suriname, Venezuela (both countries had territorial claims on the colony) and the United States [2], that turned them into a new territory. Upon the purchase of the French half of Saint Martin, the Netherlands, too, consolidated their Caribbean possessions into a unified colony of the Dutch Antilles. [2]

In the qualifiers to the American Cup, defending world champions Argentina were joined in Canada by Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, who had made minced meat of several debuting Central American teams, [3] as well as by the United States. The former world champions headed Group A, also featuring Bolivia, Brazil and the United States, while Group B was headed by the Canadian hosts, who were to go against Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The Group A matches took place in Toronto's Rosedale Field, home of the local Argonauts rugby team [4]; it was a tournament to forget for the United States, that were walked over by the South American opposition - with Argentina and Bolivia qualifying for the World Cup, and Brazil qualifying for a playoff match to determine the fifth entrant of the Americas to the tournament in Scotland.

Argentina 0-1 Brazil
3-2 United States

Argentina 6-3 United States
Bolivia 2-1 Brazil

Argentina 5-2 Bolivia
Brazil 4-2 United States

4 Argentina
4 Bolivia
4 Brazil
0 United States

The Group B matches took place in Toronto as well, but at the Varsity Stadium, home of the Nomads; while the United States disappointed, Canada performed well above expectations, also thanks to a providential injection of Antillean players - Ottawa's hardline stance against the English-speaking Caribbean's rather embarrassing racial views having made it possible. [4]

Canada 4-3 Chile
Paraguay 1-1 Uruguay

Canada 5-1 Paraguay
Chile 0-1 Uruguay

2-1 Uruguay
Chile 2-3 Paraguay

6 Canada
3 Uruguay
3 Paraguay
0 Chile

Brazil won the playoff match against Paraguay 3-0, while the first semifinal, taking place in Montreal's Percival Molson Stadium, saw Bolivia defeat the home team 3-1. In the second semifinal, played in Ottawa's Lansdowne Park, Uruguay prevailed 4-3 over Argentina. Both the third place match and the final were played in Newfoundland's King George V Park, one of the first soccer-specific stadiums in the country: the third place match saw Argentina defeat Canada 2-0, while in the final...

Final - King George V Park, St. John's, Canada

Bolivia 0-1 Uruguay

A penalty by Héctor Scarone interrupted Bolivia's underdog run, with Uruguay winning their second trophy after the World Cup won in 1914.

[1] Much earlier than in OTL, losing a war does that.
[2] The Netherlands Antilles, basically, ahead of schedule.
[3] All of the above teams, except for Canada, featured in the OTL 1926 Copa América, or (in the case of Brazil) withdrew before being able to play.
[4] Stadiums provided by @kinnikuniverse.
[5] No, the First Nations are not treated any better than they were in OTL, in fact Canada's new black citizens look down on them even more so than their white peers.

Rome's Stadio Nazionale, demolished in the 1950s in OTL

The 1924 edition of the European Cup was the first to feature two stadiums for each group, as the chosen host of the finals, Italy, had no shortage of available venues. Group A (Austria, Italy, Scotland, Spain) played its games in Genoa, in Campo di via del Piano (home of Andrea Doria and Genoa) and in the Stadio di Villa Scassi (home of Sampierdarenese); Group B (Denmark, England, Hungary, Sweden) played its games in Turin, in the Stadio di Corso Marsiglia (home of Juventus) and in the Campo Stradale Stupinigi (home of Torino). Germany missed out on the final stage, but was able to qualify for the ninth European spot in the World Cup through a playoff match against the Netherlands, as Scotland was already qualified to the World Cup, being its host.

Group A - Austria, Italy, Scotland, Spain - Genoa

1-0 Spain
Austria 1-5 Scotland

Italy 0-3 Scotland
Austria 3-3 Spain

Austria 0-0 Italy
Scotland 6-3 Spain

6 Scotland
3 Italy
2 Austria
1 Spain

Being in the same group as the hosts and a returning giant such as Scotland did not do Spain well; at least they were already sure they would've gone to the World Cup nonetheless.

Group B - Denmark, England, Hungary, Sweden - Turin

4-3 England
Hungary 3-0 Sweden

Denmark 3-4 Sweden
6-4 Hungary

Denmark 2-0 Hungary
England 5-1 Sweden,

4 England
4 Denmark
2 Hungary
2 Sweden

England, too, came back to international football as a nearly unstoppable force - but for a defeat against Denmark. The qualified teams then traveled south, to Naples - the first semifinal being played in the Campo Oncino (home of Savoia) and the second semifinal in the Stadio Militare dell'Arenaccia (home of Napoli); Scotland prevailed 3-0 against Denmark, while England beat Italy by the same result.

The third place match and the final were held in Rome's Stadio Nazionale; both matches featured, in the stands, manyof the cultural and political heavyweights of the country, such as Prime Minister Filippo Turati, his partner and Minister of Education Anna Kuliscioff [1], perpetual shit-stirrer Gabriele D'Annunzio, and racing icon Tazio Nuvolari. Also present was German industrialist and politician Alexander Waltz, in Rome to discuss business and politics with the Prime Minister. [2] In the third place match, Italy beat Denmark 2-0, while in the final...

England 2-4 Scotland

Glasgow Rangers mainstays Andy Cunningham and Sandy Archibald scored two goals each to send the English home. The third goal was scored in the exact instant Alexander Waltz's right fist made contact with Gabriele D'Annunzio's nose.

[1] Turati managing to implement actual universal suffrage in Italy did much to improve her health, most likely.
[2] Why? For the glory of the Kaiserreich Satan of course.

Were the Scots already frying things that should not be fried, back in the 1920s?

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland had survived the Great War, but keeping the Empire going was proving quite hard; however, London needed the Empire, if it wanted to be at least equal to the victorious Kaiserreich: as a hardline imperialist stance had resulted in the loss of Egypt and a few other territories, another road was taken. The success of the Home Rule experiment in Ireland was followed by similar measures in Ceylon, Gambia, the Gold Coast, India, Kenya, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Tanganyika and Zanzibar [1], as well as at home in Scotland and Wales.

The new self-governing Scotland hosted the 1926 World Cup: the home team headed Group A, that also included Brazil, Germany and the United States; Group B consisted of England, Sweden, the Philippines and Uruguay; Group C included Denmark, Egypt, Italy and Spain, while Group D consisted of Argentina, Austria, Canada and Hungary. This was the first edition of the World Cup to include quarterfinals, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the next stage.

Brazil 0-4 Scotland
Germany 3-4 United States

5-3 Germany
Scotland 1-1 United States

Brazil 2-2 United States
Germany 0-5 Scotland

5 Scotland
4 United States
3 Brazil
0 Germany

Group A matches were played at the Celtic Park and the Ibrox Park, and saw the United States advance to the quarterfinals despite two draws.

England 1-0 Sweden
Philippines 0-7 Uruguay

England 0-2 Uruguay
Philippines 0-4 Sweden

10-1 Philippines
Sweden 1-2 Uruguay

5 Uruguay
4 England
3 Sweden
0 Philippines

The Philippines did not make a good debut in Group B, whose matches were held in Douglas Park and St. Mirren Park.

Denmark 6-2 Egypt
Italy 3-3 Spain

Denmark 0-0 Spain
Egypt 0-6 Italy

1-0 Italy
Egypt 5-4 Spain

5 Denmark
3 Italy
2 Spain
2 Egypt

Spain was still stuck in the rut it got stuck two years earlier, while Denmark and Italy topped Group C, held at Fir Park and Rugby Park.

Argentina 2-2 Austria
Canada 2-5 Hungary

Argentina 2-3 Hungary
Austria 0-0 Canada

Argentina 0-1 Canada
1-0 Hungary

4 Hungary
4 Austria
3 Canada
1 Argentina

Argentina sure did not expect to end the group - whose matches were held in Easter Road and Tynecastle Park - below Canada.


4-2 Italy
Austria 6-3 Denmark
England 2-5 Scotland
United States
1-0 Uruguay

England got sent south of Hadrian's Wall by Scotland, again, while the United States sure benefited from the good state of the ASL back home.


Hungary 0-1 Scotland
3-1 United States

Third place match

5-1 United States

A shiny new league full of promising players, however, can only go so far against the Danubian titans.

Final - Hampden Park, Glasgow

Austria 2-3 Scotland

Because of course Scotland had to be the first Home Nation to bring the cup to Great Britain, after delivering the bloody Saxons a good blow, no less.

[1] All of them former OTL dominions.
while the United States were welcoming back their 1923 rugby world cup heroes and rugby was on the brink of breaking out as a major sport rivaling baseball, American soccer entered its first golden age as the ASL was home to not only the best American players, but also the best Mexicans and South americans of the time. the arrival of English, Welsh, French and Scottish internationals further legitimized the league as a premier destination for the beautiful game's superstars, even despite the foreign player limit and cost control measures instated in 1924. bringing your family to the soccer stadium was an activity that was just as popular as going to watch the Yankees or red Sox, and more and more schools and colleges were experiencing growth in participation for their soccer programs.

while clubs from the tri-states and new england regions won the majority of league titles and national cups, with Bethlehem steel of philadelphia, Boston minutemen, fall river marksmen, Brooklyn hakoah, providence and new York city FC being recognized as the top clubs, the mid-20s saw clubs from outside those regions making their marks, with Chicago Sparta, Ben millers and st. Leo of st. Louis and Columbus winning the national cup, st. Leo and Chicago Sparta becoming the first teams outside of the tri-states and new england to win the ASL title in 1925 and 1926.

with the quality of American players ever increasing thanks to playing regularly with top tier south American, UK and Mexican talent, you'd think the US would improve their results on the international scene...and then, the disappointing world cup campaign of 1922 came, the US not making the knockout stages...and if you think that was terrible, the mega failure that was the 1924 americas cup campaign in Canada enraged American soccer fans all over the country. part of the blame was that, while the US Rugby federation, under the presidency of native American jim Thorpe, openly encouraged integration, the national soccer team stubbornly refused to integrate black players, some who could even have helped the US greatly during those terrible campaigns, no doubt influenced by the fact that the 1923 rugby world cup win was possible thanks to the efforts of players of color and also because their neighbors up north making it to the 1924 Americas cup semi-finals, also thanks to black players coming from the newly-made provinces in the Antilles and Jamaica.

desperate to improve the national team's fortunes, the US controversially decided to name three African-americans on the squad for the 1926 world cup: goalkeeper Andy Washington, Forward cool papa bell and midfielder/inside forward Fritz pollard, who switched from rugby to soccer full time due to wear and tear on his body, in the way becoming the first American athlete to represent the Country in two different sports.

while the country would heavily debate on integration in sports back home, the US soccer team would have their best performance in the world cup to date, with a very popular victory against the Germans and pollard, Washington and bell's heroics against Brazil, Scotland and especially uruguay in the quarter finals brought the United States to the semi-finals for the first time in its history. bell and pollard, especially, wowed the crowds with their insane speed and silky moves, becoming the first well-known samba-style footballers, a style no doubt influenced by the many Latin Americans playing in the ASL. unfortunately, they would fall against Austria and get thrashed by Hungary in the third place match.

despite this, there was renewed optimism concerning the national team, and the ASL gained even more legitimacy when the Argentinan, Brazilian, Uruguayan, English and the world cup-winning Scottish sides featured many players who were plying their trade in america.

after this great performance, the debate on integration in sports became a hot topic for much of the 20s and 30s. little did america knew, however, that those debates would, many years later, evolve into one of the most important revolutionary movements of the 20th century...

energised by the success of the inaugural rugby world cup, the sport finally enjoyed the golden age that was robbed from them during the great war. clubs across europe enjoyed packed stadiums and record profits, with Northampton, wasps, Salford, Wigan and Leicester tigers becoming household names in England. rugby also helped many cash-strapped countries getting out of misery, as was the case with France and especially Romania after their Cinderella run to the semi-finals. Spain was also taking a liking to the oval ball, especially since the arrival of the former french Basque and Catalan clubs in the first division. Biarritz, pau, perpignan and aviron bayonnais quickly established themselves among the top clubs in Spain followed by atletico San Sebastian, santboiana and CD Arquitectura of Madrid.

Italy, meanwhile, was boosted by the 1923 nations league win, and more people were beginning to view rugby as an alternative to soccer, though, of course, it will never dethrone it as Italy's national sport. as for the club scene, Bagnolese won a 4th straight title in 1924, but Two new clubs would win the next two championships: vigor of torino in 1925 and US Catanese in 1926. US Milanese would soon come back on top, however, winning the league in 1927.

speaking of the nations league, the home nations returned to the fray, as reigning world champions USA was chosen as the hosts of the 1927 rugby world cup. the mid-20s were a golden age of sorts for the Irish national team as they would win 2 nations leagues in a row, in 1925 and 1926, going unbeaten in the latter edition. the 1927 nations league saw the welsh and irish finish tied on points in 1st, but the welsh, having scored more points than the irish, were declared European champions. of note is the qualification of Russia, who had an excellent campaign, and spain qualifying by the skin of their teeth, knocking romania out of qualification in a thrilling upset!

meanwhile, in the Pacific, new zealand won the all Pacific championship 1924 and 1925 before Australia took the 1926 crown. . Australia would top the ladder, but this time, it will be Tonga who will join the two powerhouses of Australasia, qualifying with 6 points over Hawaii And Papua New guinea.

in america, the defending champions and Hosts USA was automatically qualified, and the American qualifiers had nothing unusual happen, the usual suspects Canada, Argentina and Uruguay easily qualifying.


- new zealand
- United states (reigning champions and hosts)
- England
- Scotland
- Wales
- France
- Spain
- ireland
- Russia
- Italy
- South Africa
- Australia
- Argentina
- Uruguay
- Canada
- Tonga


Soldier field in Chicago, home of the chicago lions and chicago sparta FC and host of the knockout stages.
the pinnacle of American sports in the roaring 20s was the hosting of the 1927 rugby world cup. the country pulled out all the stops to make this second edition of world rugby's most prestigious trophy a spectacle for the ages. Franklin field, in Philadelphia, home of Bethlehem steel FC and whitemarsh RFC, was expanded to 50,000 seats, while new stadiums were built for this occasion and also to have dedicated facilities to soccer and rugby. baker field, a 38, 000 seats facility in New York, was built in 1923, while the massive soldier field in Chicago was built a year later. finally, the most recent stadium, the michigan stadium, opened in time for the 1927 rugby world Cup, becoming the largest stadium in america, capable of hosting almost 100,000 spectators!

and the various venues got their money's worth, as almost every group of this 1927 world cup was competitive, with once again many upsets happening!

GROUP A at Michigan stadium
Wales 16 vs 3 tonga
United states 16 vs 10 new zealand
Wales 20 vs 9 united states
new zealand 28 vs 6 tonga
Wales 12 vs 9 new zealand
United States 9 vs 9 tonga
Wales 28 vs 3 tonga
United states 9 vs 12 new zealand
Wales 13 vs 21 united states
new zealand 6 vs 6 tonga
Wales 21 vs 21 new zealand
United states 21 vs 9 Tonga

Wales 9
United states 7
new zealand 6
Tonga 2

The packed Michigan stadium crowd had a lot of expectations for the US national team, especially since they were in the same group as the 1923 finalists new zealand and a strong Welsh side. the latter side featured a generation at the peak of their powers, with star fullback Jim Sullivan having a really good case for being the best rugby player in the world. it all culminated in an excellent campaign for the Welsh as thry topped with only one loss, against the US, a victory which was crucial for the eagles, as new zealand would shockingly draw against their lowly rivals Tonga before a draw against the Welsh and a US victory against Tonga meant that the all-blacks surprisingly gets elminated by only one point!

GROUP B at Harvard stadium
Ireland 15 vs 9 south africa
Canada 16 vs 20 russia
ireland 15 vs 18 canada
south Africa 16 vs 13 russia
Canada 12 vs 21 south africa
Ireland 17 vs 9 russia
Ireland 14 vs 24 south africa
Canada 19 vs 9 russia
Ireland 9 vs 12 canada
south Africa 9 vs 9 russia
Canada 14 vs 27 south africa
Ireland 21 vs 6 Russia

south Africa 9
Canada 7
Ireland 6
Russia 3

Harvard university of Boston granted permission to have the tournament organiser use their stadium for the group B matches, the Bostonians clearly rooting for the irish. unfortunately, those cheers would turn into tears, as Canada would upset Ireland in two of the most closely fought games in the whole tournament. that, combined with South Africa's excellent run,meant that the Irish, considered the best team in Europe, got knocked out by only 1 point!

GROUP C at Franklin field
Scotland 15 vs 6 spain
Argentina 15 vs 9 france
Scotland 10 vs 24 france
Argentina 20 vs 0 spain
France 9 vs 6 spain
Scotland 13 vs 13 argentina
Scotland 27 vs 3 spain
France 6 vs 12 argentina
Scotland 9 vs 9 argentina
France 9 vs 21 spain
Scotland 17 vs 12 France
Spain 14 vs 20 Argentina

Argentina 10
Scotland 8
France 4
Spain 2

GROUP C, held at Franklin field in philadelphia, saw Argentina topping the group in a great run, and Scotland were motivated to match the national soccer team's exploits in the 1926 FIFA world CUP, while the French were typically French.

GROUP D at baker field
England 9 vs 28 australia
Uruguay 6 vs 9 italy
England 17 vs 9 italy
australia 17 vs 20 uruguay
England 20 vs 7 Uruguay
Italy 12 vs 12 australia
England 15 vs 0 Australia
Italy 19 vs 12 uruguay
England 15 vs 9 Italy
Australia 9 vs 17 uruguay
England 12 vs 6 uruguay
australia 9 vs 6 italy

England 9
Australia 5
Italy 5
Uruguay 4

elimination match
Australia 21 vs 12 italy

while England easily qualified in New York, Australia got themselves a scare, as once again, just like in 1923, uruguay beat them both times, which led the wallabies to be tied with Italy for 2nd, prompting an extra elimination match between the two nations, the Aussies easily beating the azzura.


United states 21 vs 12 australia
England 19 vs 13 south Africa (extra time)
Argentina 6 vs 17 Scotland
Canada 14 vs 24 wales

behind excellent performances by Jim Sullivan and Charlie Pugh, the Welsh overcame a slow start in the first half to score 2 unanswered tries and a Sullivan field goal to beat a spirited Canadian team, while Scotland dominated Argentina and the US marched over Australia. in an extremely hard-hitting and competitive affair, England and South Africa went to extra time, where two penalties for the springboks Costa them everything as England moves on by two field goals.

United states 6 vs 24 England
Scotland 3 vs 9 wales

soldier field would fall into silence as the reigning champions USA got thrashed by England, the latter avenging their semi-final defeat in 1923. in the other semi-finals, Wales survived a defensive encounter against Wales, Jim Sullivan scoring the three field goals.

England 6 vs 16 wales

in a thrilling final, Wales dominated the second half to upset the English and become world champion! Jim Sullivan was named tournament MVP, and he and Charlie Pugh became national heroes in Wales!

Sullivan posing with the trophy

The soundtrack of the decade, even in Italy.

Neither Egypt nor the Philippines were able to qualify for the 1930 World Cup, as they did for the 1926 one; in the second edition of the African Cup, whose finals were held in South Africa, the hosts beat Egypt itself in the final by 3 to 1, while the in Asian Cup, whose finals were held in Japan, Australia prevailed over New Zealand 1-0. In the American Cup, the semifinals featured an Argentina win over Uruguay (6-3) and a Canada win over the United States (1-0), with Argentina beating Canada 5-3 in the final to win their third American Cup, and Costa Rica qualifying for the fifth American spot in the World Cup over Brazil.

In the European Cup, Italy defeated Scotland in the first semifinal 2-0, while Spain defeated England 2-1 in the second semifinal; the Italian team went on to win the tournament, thanks to Vittorio Pozzo's coaching and his implementation of the revolutionary Metodo formation, based on tactics pioneered by the Danubian teams, that had been well represented in the cup, with Austria, Bohemia and Hungary having been featured in the group stage alongside Germany; the playoff match for the remaining European spot, on the other hand, was won by the united Ireland side, with Wales being the only Home Nation to miss World Cup qualification - Wales being very much a rugby country fresh from a victory, the missed qualification stung less than it would've otherwise.

The decade was quite an eventful one for Italian football, as Serie A and Serie B were expanded from 10 to 12 teams, largely because of the perceived need to have a couple Corsican teams in the professional leagues as a whole, as well as the new A.S. Monaco team, representing the small principality by the same name. [1] Bologna and Genoa were by far the best teams of the decade, that had begun in a less than great way - fearing the exodus of more teams to Italy's rugby union due to the foreign players dispute, the FIGC put a hard cap of 3 foreign players per team, not counting Monegasque and Sammarinese ones, resulting in the 1920-21 and 1921-22 seasons' shocking upsets, but also in the birth of a generation of Italian players raised through the youth team ranks, such as Bologna's Angelo Schiavio - who would spend the entirety of his career with his hometown's own team.

1920-21: Pisa (1) [2]
1921-22: Sampierdarenese (1) [2]
1922-23: Genoa (4) [3]
1923-24: Genoa (5) [3]
1924-25: Bologna (1) [3]
1925-26: Juventus (3) [3]
1926-27: Bologna (2) [2]
1927-28: Genoa (6) [2]
1928-29: Bologna (3) [3]
1929-30: Inter (4) [3]

Around the same time, Italy developed quite the taste for jazz, with Louis Armstrong touring the country in more than one occasion [4]; also because of his experiences in Italy, the country would become, alongside Germany, a popular tourist destination for African-American celebrities. [5]

[1] Since France's not exactly in top shape.
[2] OTL second placed team.
[3] OTL winner.
[4] As he did in OTL, except here he doesn't have to worry about Fascism.
[5] The Weimar Republic had a bit of a reputation among black artists back then, the ATL Kaiserreich and Italy are no different.
AS Monaco in serie A?

man, hope their academy becomes just as good as OTL, cause no way they would produce the likes of Henry, thuram, weah, trezeguet and viera since they're not Italians...

Back to the future, kind of.

Just like the 1910 World Cup, the 1930 edition was held in a South American country a hundred years after its independence - in this case, Uruguay. Several stadiums were chosen to host the tournament: as well as the Centenario, Parque Central and Pocitos stadiums, [1] the Belvedere, Damiani and Saroldi stadiums were chosen to host the matches, all of them being in the country's capital, Montevideo.

Group A was dominated by Bohemia and Uruguay, as expected, but Australia was able to score a surprise win against Canada in their very last match.

Australia 0-1 Bohemia
Canada 0-1 Uruguay

Australia 0-4 Uruguay
Canada 1-2 Bohemia

3-2 Canada
Bohemia 0-1 Uruguay

6 Uruguay
4 Bohemia
2 Australia
0 Canada

Group B featured the first surprise of the tournament, as Costa Rica got second place in the group - behind Austria - knocking Scotland out of the tournament. After this turn of events, FIFA decreed that defending champions were not to be guaranteed a spot in the following World Cup anymore.

Austria 4-1 Costa Rica
Germany 0-2 Scotland

3-2 Scotland
Germany 3-3 Costa Rica

Austria 4-2 Germany
Costa Rica 2-1 Scotland

6 Austria
3 Costa Rica
2 Scotland
1 Germany

Group C was not a lucky one for European champions Italy, that suffered two consecutive defeats from qualified teams Hungary and Argentina.

Argentina 2-0 Hungary
Italy 6-0 South Africa

Argentina 10-0 South Africa
Hungary 3-1 Italy

Hungary 6-2 South Africa
Argentina 2-1 Italy

6 Argentina
4 Hungary
2 Italy
0 South Africa

Group D saw England and Spain qualify over Sweden and the United States, but the Americans were nonetheless able to defeat their old colonial overlord.

England 5-3 Spain
Sweden 2-2 United States

England 6-1 Sweden
Spain 5-4 United States

England 2-3 United States
2-0 Sweden

4 England
4 Spain
2 United States
1 Sweden

The Quarterfinals saw Costa Rica continue their lucky streak by beating the hosts.

Argentina 5-3 Spain
England 5-2 Hungary
Costa Rica 1-0 Uruguay
Austria 2-3 Bohemia

and 3rd place match

2-0 Bohemia
Costa Rica 3-2 England

Bohemia 2-4 England

Some people began to get very suspicious at this point, and claims that Costa Rica had bribed more than a referee were made; in the end, nothing happened, but...

Final - Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay

4-1 Costa Rica least the Central American team was not able to overcome the Southern Cone one. To this day, Costa Rica's run remains a magnet for conspiracy theories. [3]

[1] All as OTL until now.
[2] This happened in OTL, but much later.
[3] This is what happens when you let a d10 simulate the matches for you; despite every throw being biased in favour of the highest ranked team in OTL, upsets can happen anyway, leaving room for interpretation. I wouldn't be surprised if a Byron Moreno thing had happened here.