George Orwell’s 1984 World Cup

Here at The Robot Soccer League, we often like to look at what things could have been like if global history took a different turn. With this series, we’re sticking to the website’s roots, but adding a little bit of fiction to proceedings.

George Orwell’s legendary work “1984” remains as important as ever today with its commentary on totalitarian government and absolute surveillance. We won’t be focusing on that here, however, as we instead focus on the nations Orwell created for his outlook on how the Cold War would end.

Those nations are, of course, Eurasia, Oceania, Eastasia and the Disputed Territories which the first three nations are all fighting for control over, with truth-spinning in the press making it impossible to know for sure who’s actually winning the war, or if there’s actually any war at all.

For those of you who have read this wonderful book and thought “well that’s all well and good, but what if they used football to solve their problems instead of fighting” (Orwell did once write that international sport was essentially “war minus the shooting”), then this is the series for you. Now in 2020, we have fortunately never lived through anything like 1984, but if we were to live in that sort of world, how would those four football teams look? Below is a map I swiped off Wikipedia to lay out the geographical boundaries that each nation is confined to, as well as the links to the 23-man squads.

I should mention that I was thinking about doing a hypothetical tournament where the four teams played each other in a round-robin format, but since each nation would claim to have won the tournament regardless of the actual result, there wouldn’t really be much point. Happy reading!

Oceania
Eurasia
Eastasia
Disputed Territories