Do the Red Flames have a chance to win the group? The final match between Scotland and England arouses the interest of conspiracy theorists Women’s Nations League

Thanks to England’s late win over the Netherlands, the Red Flames still have a chance of winning a ticket to the Games in the inaugural Women’s Nations League. But is it really so? The final match between England and Scotland decides the fate of the Belgians, who will not go to the Games separately, but as a Great Britain team.

While England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have been presented as four separate footballing nations since time immemorial, only Great Britain is allowed to participate as a nation in the Olympic Games.

The Women’s Nations League serves as a qualifying tournament for Paris 2024. Finalists can go to the Olympics with host nation France.

To avoid Team GB having 4 chances to qualify thanks to their states, one team has been designated that can qualify. It makes sense for England to become the European champion, the strongest and highest-ranked country in the FIFA rankings.

If England reach the Nations League final, Great Britain could go to the Olympics. In addition to players from England, who are likely to make up the majority of selection, players from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are also eligible.

This creates conflicting interests in Group 1 – the Red Flames’ group – because England and Scotland are in the same group. If the Scottish women are to achieve an Olympic dream, they have every advantage in England reaching the final.

Scotland will not give anything up. There is a lot of competition between countries.

Sarina Wegman, England national team coach

The result of the final match between England and Scotland will now be decisive for the group to win. The Netherlands and Belgium, which still have a chance, are watching in horror.

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The Netherlands and England each have 9 points, and Belgium has 8 points. So the Red Flames must win their final match against Netherlands and hope England don’t win in Scotland.

An unlikely scenario, with England just needing a big win. In the event of a draw with the Netherlands, the goal difference is crucial – Netherlands at +4, England at +1. Therefore, it is expected that the English will be able to work to reduce the goal difference against Scotland. A strange finale looms.

Sarina Wegman, England coach, tried to outdo the conspiracy theorists. “Scotland isn’t really going to give anything away. There’s a lot of rivalry between the two countries,” she said. But Stefan van Louck, the Belgians’ press spokesman, still has his reservations about that.

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Who are the eligible players?

On paper, European champions and vice-world champions England have the strongest squad of the four British nations. However, some non-English players can also dream of Paris.

Scottish midfield star Caroline Weir was also in attendance at the Tokyo Olympics and also looks like a certainty for 2024 if Great Britain can qualify. Her compatriot Kim Little was also present at previous games, as was Sophie Ingle from Wales.

Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert and Bayern’s Samantha Kerr are also competing for a place in the British midfield.

(Read more below the picture)

Caroline Ware

Nationalist sentiment also plays a role

Or is there still hope? Many Scots hope that England – and therefore Great Britain – will not qualify for the Olympics. There is a fear that in the future this could lead to a request/requirement from FIFA to play as Great Britain in all football tournaments from now on.

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have played football as independent nations since time immemorial, a distinction derived from Great Britain’s pioneering role in the sport, which originated across the Channel.

When the FIFA regulations were drawn up, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales were given exceptional permission to compete in international football as a separate nation.

If they lose their national football team, I have no doubt that Scotland will demand independence.

British sports economist Stefan Szymanski in 2016

Many fans from the “smaller” footballing nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are concerned that Great Britain’s potential success as a footballing nation at the Olympics could undermine their own standing in FIFA.

British sports economist Stefan Szymanski went further in 2016. In an interview with Business Insider, he suggested that FIFA’s requirement for Britain to become permanently British could lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom.

He said at the time: “Don’t forget there was already a very close referendum on independence in Scotland in 2014. If they lose their national football team, I have no doubt that Scotland will demand independence.”

What’s on the minds of the Scottish players against England in the final: the Olympics? Or Scottish independence?

Red flames in the European Nations League

The results are red flames
Belgium Holland 2-1
Scotland Belgium 1-1
England Belgium 1-0
Belgium England 3-2
Belgium Scotland 1-1
Holland Belgium Tuesday

Position in group 1
M W g Fifth +/- points
1. Holland 5 3 0 2 +4 9
2. England 5 3 0 2 +1 9
3. Belgium 5 2 2 1 +1 8
4. Scotland 5 0 2 3 -6 2

The group winner qualifies for the Nations League finals. Number 3 plays in the playoffs to retain League A. Number 4 is relegated to League B.

Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

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