=========================================== From: steve d (email@example.com) Subject: World Cup Future Foretold Date: Mar 7, 1997 World Cup - The Future Foretold 1998: France Striking French onion farmers blockade all ports of entry as a protest against cheap imports. The 31 other teams are therefore unable to arrive for the tournament. As a concession to the farmers for allowing the World Cup to continue, FIFA agree to play all games with an onion instead of a football. For the first time the phrase "put it in the onion bag" has true meaning. The French squad, being forewarned of this, had secretly practiced their skills with this gallic vegetable for 6 months thus ensuring they walk away with the Cup for the first time. 2002: Japan/South Korea Chaos ensues at the opening ceremony when a Japanese performing dog troupe is kidnapped and barbecued in a light salsa sauce by members of a Korean drum corp. Due to the resultant increase in tensions between the countries FIFA decide to play all games in the cargo deck of an oil supertanker moored midway between Tokyo and Seoul; the first maritime World Cup is won by Liberia who use their intimate knowledge of supertanker infrastructure to break Africa=92s duck. 2006: South Africa The teams play for the new Havelange Trophy as Paul "sixteen bellies" Gascoigne had eaten the previous trophy during the World Cup draw. Generally regarded as the greatest World Cup with a return to the classical 2-3-5 formation. In a pulsating final, England beat Brazil 7-5 in extra time. Alan Shearer in his final game for England scores 6 goals. Ronaldo in unavailable for the final due to filming commitments for a Nike advert. 2010: Colombia In order to counter the growing drug menace in sport, FIFA decide to level the playing field by introducing a rule that each player must have a minimum level of stimulants in their bloodstream. Italy=92s Diego Maradona Junior refuses to take his mandatory dose and is sent home. He is lauded throughout the world, even receiving an honorary knighthood from King Bobby Robson the first of England. The Cup is won by Bolivia who are the only team used to playing on such a high. 2014: Netherlands Global warming causes widespread flooding in the low countries. The World Cup is canceled and awarded to Wales as they are the only country named after an aquatic mammal. A late attempt by the Argentine President Mazzarelli to change his country=92s name to Porpoiseland is rejected. 2018: Knock-out World Cup The first and only knock-out World Cup. World-wide TV audience records are set for the 1st round draw. Brazil v Germany is the first game out of the hat, but due to the previously unrevealed 5th FIFA directive, these two teams must never meet in the WC, and are therefore eliminated. Elsewhere Scotland maintain their impressive 1st round record by losing 3-1 to the Vatican City. Argentina defeat Uruguay in the final and the Argentine President Mazzarelli is re-elected for his third term in office in the wake of national rejoicing. 2022: Virtual World Cup FIFA decides to play a computerised WC as no country is prepared to pay the required bribe to become host. Thanks to the wizardry of mathematicians at U.C. Berkeley (who the previous year had published a 712 page proof that Pele was better than Maradona) Gibraltar beat Spain 1-0 in the final; the only goal being scored by a Barbary ape. 2026: Caesar=92s Palace The USA win their first Cup - but only after incorporating Brazil and Argentina as the 57th and 58th states the previous year. Devious Yanks. 2030: Atlantis As a boost to the unity of the European Federation, President Stokkermans declares that Europe will only send one team to the WC. Unfortunately Norway win the Eurovision song contest and are therefore allowed to send their football team to the newly risen city of Atlantis. In tactics harking back to 1994, the Norwegian footballers forget to cross the halfway line and fail to score a single goal. The final is won by a team of genetically engineered footballers incorporating the best qualities voted for by RSSers: the intelligence of Pele the dribbling skills of Maradona the vision of Platini the turning circle of Cruyff the tackling of Moore and the drinking power of Best 2034: The end of football........ The World is blown apart in revenge by a race of football-loving Aliens who can no longer afford the pay-per-view fees charged by the Havelange Foundation for the WC.