17.05.06

Josep Maria Raduà: Sporting countries

Sporting countries
Josep Maria Raduà
01/12/2005
Sporting countries
Josep Maria Raduà
01/12/2005
What is a sporting country? Well, it is a territory or part of a territory that has some self-governmental political institutions and its own sporting organisation, clearly defined geographically speaking, as our case is. Today, there are 50 sporting countries in the world that participate in official competitions in several sport modalities without having their own state. This means that there are about fifteen cases of states that have each more than one national team participating in competitions. The most well-known case is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In addition to the state team of the United Kingdom that participates in the Olympic Games and of the semi-state team of Great Britain that participates in very few competitions, this state has 17 additional national compounds that depend on it: the Bermudas (recognised by 31 international federations), Anguila, the Caiman Islands, Scotland (by 20), England (by 20), Wales (by 19), Gibraltar (by 12), Northern Ireland (by 8), Montserrat (only by 2), Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man, the Channel Island, the Falkland Islands, and Saint Helens. The United States are quite close to this situation for, in addition to the state team, it presents teams for: Guam (by 26), the Marian Islands (by 15), Puerto Rico (by 46), Alaska, American Samoa (by 22), the American Virgin Islands (by 28) and Hawaii. The centralist French state also allows for the participation of: Reunion, New Caledonia, Tahiti (by 16), Guadalupe, Martinique and French Guiana. The Netherlands are not far from it and present other national teams such as: Aruba (by 28), Curaçao, the Dutch Antilles (by 25) and Bonaire. It is a well-known fact that China has four teams as well: the People’s Republic of China (the state one) and three additional ones: Hong Kong (by 50), Macau (by 31) and Taiwan (by 54, the sporting country or nation that has more). Other stateless nations with recognised teams are: the Arabian Gulf, Palestine (by 23), Kosovo (of Serbia and Montenegro), Flanders (of Belgium), Quebec (of Canada), the Southern Tyrol (Italy), the Norfolk Islands (Australia), Greenland (by 5) the Faeroe Islands (by 10), both politically belonging to Denmark, the Basque Country (in mountain races, indoor football and kung fu), the Valencian Country (only admitted in the Valencian ball modality) and Catalonia.