The Keltic Kup?
It was announced today that the football associations of Scotland, Wales and both parts of Ireland have agreed on a new annual tournament between their teams due to kick off in 2011. As the four teams involved rarely qualify for any major tournaments such an event can only be welcome and is long overdue. Like England, these four teams have all suffered from the foreign invasion of the Premier League as a result of which the opportunities to play at the top level are much more limited now than they were 20 years ago.
However, one bone of contention will be what to call this new tournament. They could take a leaf out of rugby’s book and call it the Four Nations. Another possibility would be the Celtic (as in “Keltic” not “Seltic”) Cup, but Rangers supporters would take exception to this. Whatever it’s called, it could be a massive money spinner for the broadcaster Setanta who never seem to miss an opportunity like this.
I notice the BBC website has a section devoted to the four regions, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England is simply listed as “England”, but Scotland and Wales are listed bilingually as “Scotland/Alba” and “Wales/Cymru”. Interestingly enough, Northern Ireland is just listed in English. I’m surprised the Irish and Ulster Scots lobbies haven’t been on the BBC’s case about this. But let’s face it – there just wouldn’t be enough room for “Northern Ireland/Tuaisceart na hÉireann/Norlin Airlann”.
* As a footnote to the first item above, I was baffled for years as to why the name of a certain Glasgow soccer club was pronounced as “Seltic” rather than the standard pronounciation “Keltic”. I eventually found out that this was because the soft C pronounciation was in vogue in the 19th century when the club was formed, but the hard C took over as the accepted prounounciation in the 20th century. This brings me on to a classic anecdote involving the Welsh actor Richard Burton. Burton was allegedly asked in an interview with an irritating Hollywood hack “I suppose you would describe yourself as a selt?”
Quick as a flash Burton replied “Yes, and I suppose you would describe yourself as a sunt.”