Is this World Cup that we can win?
So England managed just eight days at the World Cup in Brazil, bowing out of the competition before football giants such as Costa Rica, Algeria and Switzerland. Confidence and morale are at a low and we watch on with envy as the rest of the world enjoys one of the best World Cups in ages. But what if there was a different World Cup, a different competition, one we weren’t rubbish at?
Maybe there is...
Welcome everybody to the 2014 Newground Health and Safety World Cup, a simulated tournament based on the World Cup countries’ comparative health and safety outcomes!
Before we fly straight in here’s some small disclaimers:
1) These aren’t my own figures - standardised figures from around the world on health and safety outcomes are pretty hard to come by so I’m borrowing the stats (accident rates) from a great piece of research carried out by Hamalainen, Takala and Saarela.
2) Although the football World Cup disappointment is all England’s, the chance of health and safety success in this competition is the UK’s (comparable stats for the UK’s individual jurisdictions were not available).
3) Stats for Algeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina were sadly also unavailable so these two teams had to be disqualified. Apologies to any Algeria or Bosnia and Herzegovina health and safety fans.
The 32 (30) teams are ready and raring to go and the healthy and safe opening ceremony is enjoyed without incident (or accident). The Europeans are the pre-tournament favourites but could there be a surprise in store?
The opening game sees Brazil take on Croatia but despite the hosts’ confidence their accident rate of 12,679 is too high and they narrowly miss out on the last 16, Mexico progressing with group winners Croatia.
Other highlights of the group stage include Netherlands and Australia progressing with ease from Group B at the expense of Spain, Greece impressing in Group C, the UK confidently winning Group D and Switzerland and France progressing neck and neck from Group E.
Into the last 16 and the UK again impress against a strong Japan side and make it to the last eight. Australia, with an impressive rate of 2,434, see off Croatia to set up a quarter final with Greece who ended Italy’s World Cup hopes.
Switzerland make the semi-finals by beating Argentina, France progress against Iran, Greece put Croatia to the sword and in the game of the tournament so far Netherlands, despite an impressive rate of 1,145 are eliminated by the unstoppable UK!
Down to the last four and in a close encounter Greece scrape through against France’s accident rate of 2,282 and Switzerland’s 2,346 is no match for the UK.
It all comes down to this, Greece versus the UK. Greece’s 1,710 doesn’t look like it will be enough, some people are on the pitch, they think it’s all over... It is now! The UK wins the Health and Safety World Cup with a fantastic accident rate of 632!
They said that at 40 years old the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 was too old but he seals the Player of the Tournament with consummate ease.
So there it was, the Health and Safety World Cup, the international competition we win at a canter. Congratulations and take a bow!