I was reading BBC news and saw the Rugby Union having international teams from (England, Wales and Scotland) along with France, Ireland and Italy http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/rugby_union/4797831.stm
I see this even in cricket separate teams from England and Scotland. I know that UK has four broad constituents i.e, Northern Ireland, England, Wales & Scotland but don't know why UK as a country doesn't have one team when it represents internationally.
P.S: I have a lot of respect for UK and this question was not meant to make fun of UK but a sincere desire to understand. Can someone please remove my ignorance in this matter? Please forgive me if anyone finds this question offending.
Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland were all originally separate countries, each with their own governments and rulers. For various historical reasons, they eventually united under one government and one ruler. (hence the name "United Kingdom").
The people of those separate countries understood the need to unite but that did not mean they were happy to lose their identity as separate nations. The practice of allowing each to have its own sports teams is one way of satisfying these nationalistic aspirations without threatening to split up the UK.
I guess they got united only for the political reason thinking that it will give them better political leverage in the region if they stay together but so far other things are concerned, maybe they thought to be as they have been thereby creating confusion for the people around the world like me and you
It does sometimes e.g the Olympics but not the Commonwealth games - its all about money I suspect and ego - the individuals boards don't want to amalgamate.
I don't think it is ego though money could be the reason. Had it been ego then they would have not come together under the name of "United Kingdom" in the very first place!
The main reason for the Act of Union (1706) between England and Scotland was to keep Roman Catholics (Papists) off the throne of Scotland, although money was something to do with it. Northern Ireland was acquired through conquest, as was Wales, by the Normans.
Scotland and Northern Ireland still have their own laws, education system and the right to print their own banknotes. They are technically separate countries - Wales is regarded as part of England, which irritates the proud Welsh.
To make things even more complicated, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are separate sovereign states joined to the UK by a federal agreement.
A little archaic, but here is the original Act of Union
Same reason as lots of other British things - it started off that way, and stayed that way!
I understand convention in some areas like traditions to be followed but here I still don't get it. International means one country vs another country. When UK is one country then how can Wales Vs England be international(mentioned in the Rugby Union)?
I think that the main reason is that the teams actually don't represent the country, but the association. For example, in football, the Argentine team is controlled by the AFA (Argentine Football Association) the only Football association recognised by the FIFA here in Argentina. But, if the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) or the Rugby Union recognize an association for Scotland and other for England then each of them can have its own “national” team.
Very good point, David - Palestine is recognised by FIFA and has a national team, even though it is not legally a country.
As an aside, it is surely only a matter of time before the Argentinian Rugby Team is invited into the Tri-nations. They have earned that right!
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