Dec 17

Manage A Team In The Pop World Cup 2018!

FT/48 comments • 1,305 views

zabivaka Bozhe moi! IT’S BACK! The draw for the Football World Cup was made today, and so, for the fourth time, we’re delighted to host the POP WORLD CUP.

The point of this post is very simple. If you want to be a manager in the Pop World Cup, put your name in the comments and pick a specific team (first come first served) or ask us to choose a random one.

More clarification? But of course!

What is the Pop World Cup? It’s a music competition involving the 32 countries in the “real” World Cup vying to see who is the best at pop music. It will take place starting in February next year, before the football World Cup starts.

What does being a manager involve? It involves taking on one of the countries and finding pop music from it. Your tracks are pitted against tracks from other nations, and people vote on which they like best. Just as in the football World Cup, the idea is to progress to the final (and win it). You’ll be expected to find at least 3 tracks and at most 7. The Pop World Cup has very different outcomes from the football World Cup, as proven by the fact that England actually won it last time.

What are the 32 qualifying nations I can pick from? Ones in italics are taken:

Group A Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

If you took part in a previous Pop World Cup please don’t pick a team you previously managed.

Are there any new rules? I’ve not totally finalised this years POP FOOTBALL CODE but this PWC is likely to be fairly close to the last one, i.e. only 2010s tracks will be eligible. The only new rule is that tracks will need to be on Spotify OR YouTube to qualify.

1. We’re shortening the “Group Stage” so it doesn’t drag on, and we’re simplifying the scoring.
2. It’ll be easier to vote and comment via Facebook, Twitter etc.
3. YouTube links are fine – you don’t need to find MP3s.
4. Only 2010s tracks will be eligible – so this will represent current music.

This will mean less hassle and more fun for managers and listeners alike (I hope!).

Over to you – if you want to join in, put your name in the comments, either with a country, or asking for a random draw. We’ll put up the final managers’ list on Freaky Trigger once we’ve got enough people, and allot the random countries.



  1. 1
    Tom on 1 Dec 2017 #

    I will only manage a team if we don’t have enough takers but I was already contacted by returning manager Garry McK who wants another go (so he will get one).

  2. 2
    Matthew Marcus on 1 Dec 2017 #

    I’m willing to join in, having confirmed with Tom that you don’t need to have an instinct for pop music. Hurray!

  3. 3
    katstevens on 1 Dec 2017 #

    Me please! Randomiser do your worst.

  4. 4
    aris on 1 Dec 2017 #

    the manager formerly known as lartsaegis here — argentina, please!

  5. 5
    katherine on 1 Dec 2017 #


    (random draw is OK!)

  6. 6
    Edward Still on 1 Dec 2017 #

    Hi would love to do this. Random, though not Eng if possible to stipulate such..

  7. 7
    Matt DC on 1 Dec 2017 #

    I’m in, and would like to have a crack at one of Egypt, Morocco, Iceland, Senegal or Colombia. (Avoiding the randomiser as I’m also avoiding Eastern Europe).

  8. 8
    dollymix on 1 Dec 2017 #

    I will take a random team, please.

  9. 9
    CarsmileSteve on 1 Dec 2017 #

    Random for me too!

  10. 10
    Pete on 1 Dec 2017 #

    I would like to revisit past glories with Switzerland 🇨🇭

  11. 11
    Jonathan Bogz on 1 Dec 2017 #

    Yes, please: Portugal or Brazil.

  12. 12
    Joris on 1 Dec 2017 #

    yes please. always enjoyed reading these. would like to have a go playing. random country is okay.

  13. 13
    Garry on 1 Dec 2017 #

    Count me in. I think I would like to move continents. Peru or non-African random for me.

  14. 14
    weej on 2 Dec 2017 #

    Australia please!

  15. 15
    cryptopian on 2 Dec 2017 #

    This seems as good a reason to come out of lurking for. I’ll take a random please!

  16. 16
    Solitaryp on 2 Dec 2017 #

    I don’t know if Sweden is hot property, and thus unsuitable for a lurker, but if it’s up for grabs, can I have Sweden please?

    If not, I’m totally happy with Iceland


  17. 17
    Job on 2 Dec 2017 #

    Happy to join in once more. A random team seems the most fun.

  18. 18
    chelovek na lune on 2 Dec 2017 #

    Oh, yes please. Serbia please?

  19. 19
    jeff w on 2 Dec 2017 #

    I’m in. Japan, please.

  20. 20
    LucaZM on 3 Dec 2017 #

    I’d love to manage any team!

  21. 21
    lockedintheattic on 3 Dec 2017 #

    ooo i’ve been waiting for this. Yes please. Would be happy with Russia, Poland, Belgium, Senegal, Nigeria, Croatia

  22. 22
    Sam on 4 Dec 2017 #

    Long-time lurker here, and would love to take on France if it hasn’t yet been claimed…

  23. 23
    sarah c on 4 Dec 2017 #

    Sarah C here, and I quite fancy going for Russia if it’s not already bagsied (if it is, I’ll random it up). I feel there might be Stuff To Explore tick VG.

  24. 24
    Tom on 8 Dec 2017 #

    Hi everyone – I’ll put up a post tomorrow allocating the managers so far and asking for the last few (we still need 8 or 9 I think)

  25. 25
    JACK B on 8 Dec 2017 #

    Random for me please!

  26. 26
    Chris B. on 8 Dec 2017 #

    Ooooh, I’d love to take part again. I’d be happy seeing what the randomizer could do (just not Argentina or Australia because I’ve already managed both).

  27. 27
    dorsalstop on 8 Dec 2017 #

    It’s been ages, but would love to give this a go again. Random please, though I’d like to avoid Tunisia, as I’ve managed them before.

  28. 28
    Scott M on 8 Dec 2017 #

    Can I have Panama please? I reckon Iceland might be too comfortable for me… but if someone else *really* wants Panama, then Iceland would be great.

  29. 29
    Tom on 8 Dec 2017 #

    OK here’s the line-up so far. (I’ll do a separate post with this stuff in)

    Group A:
    Russia – Sarah C
    Saudi Arabia – Champiness
    Egypt – Kat
    Uruguay – Lucazm

    Group B:
    Morocco – Matt DC
    Portugal – Matthew Marcus
    Spain – Chris B
    Iran – Dollymix

    Group C:
    Peru – Garry McK
    France – Sam
    Australia – Weej
    Denmark – Jack B

    Group D:
    Argentina – Aris
    Iceland – Edward Still
    Croatia – UNCLAIMED
    Nigeria – UNCLAIMED

    Group E:
    Serbia – Chelovek Na Lune
    Brazil – Jonathan Bogart
    Switzerland – Pete
    Costa Rica – UNCLAIMED

    Group F:
    Sweden – Solitaryp
    Germany – Joris
    Mexico – Dorsalstop
    South Korea – Katherine

    Group G:
    Tunisia – UNCLAIMED
    England – Carsmile Steve
    Panama – Scott M
    Belgium – Hazel

    Group H:
    Japan – Jeff W
    Poland – Lockedintheattic
    Senegal – Cryptopian
    Colombia – Job

    So that’s Croatia, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Tunisia currently without managers.

  30. 30
    Steve Mannion on 8 Dec 2017 #

    Croatia for me then please and thank you.

  31. 31
    carsmilesteve on 10 Dec 2017 #

    As discussed yesterday, can I have Costa Rica instead of England please?

  32. 32
    Tom on 11 Dec 2017 #

    Right, Steve M has Croatia, Carsmile has Costa Rica, and PWC veteran Wichita Lineman is pulling the sheepskin coat back on for Tunisia.

    Which means – remarkably – that both the previous PWC winners, Nigeria and England, are up for grabs.

  33. 33
    jeff w on 11 Dec 2017 #

    Mullah Resmat is remarkably quiet. I guess with the US having failed to qualify and Britain broke, there is no Axis of Evil administration that can afford his services this time round.

  34. 34
    Edward Still on 12 Dec 2017 #

    Iceland. Very pleased with that! Now to not pick 3 Bjork album tracks.

  35. 35
    lockedintheattic on 13 Dec 2017 #

    Delighted to have Poland. Na zdrowie! When will this be kicking off? Want to know when I need to start my research…

  36. 36
    Adam Grylls on 30 Dec 2017 #

    Hi, I’m new here, if you’re still in need of a manager, I’d willingly put myself forth.

  37. 37
    weej on 30 Dec 2017 #

    Will the cut-off point for tracks be 2010 or 2014?

  38. 38
    Tom on 2 Jan 2018 #

    2010 – full details and timings up this week, sorry for the delay!

  39. 39
    weej on 18 Feb 2018 #

    *suspicious cough*

  40. 40
    jeff w on 21 Feb 2018 #

    we only like curling and slopestyle now, sorry. can I be OAR?

  41. 41
    weej on 22 Feb 2018 #

    Pop Olympics sounds like a brilliant idea. Maybe genres could stand for disciplines, or certain characteristics of songs, like sub 1 min songs = the 100m, singers with high-pitched voices for the high jump, most aggressive track for the boxing, or perhaps even other, better ideas.

  42. 42

    (for those wondering abt the delay, tom has been called away on family business)

  43. 43
    Tom on 5 Jun 2018 #

    Barely believably I have now SENT OUT THE DETAILS of this. No so-called ‘corruption enquiry’ could stop the might of POP FOOTBALL 2018.

  44. 44
    Joe on 25 Jun 2018 #

    OK so I’m new and I haven’t seen any updates to this. Is it too late to take a team and which ones have already been taken?

  45. 45
    Tom on 26 Jun 2018 #

    Hi Joe! On paper we have all 32 managers, in reality I’m still waiting for tracks from a few of them – if any of them can’t manage it I will get in touch!

  46. 46
    Joe on 26 Jun 2018 #

    Keep me in the know, Tom! I’d be happy to join in.

  47. 47
    Joe on 1 Jul 2018 #

    Any news? I’ll be fine with anything, but if you haven’t got anyone on England…

  48. 48
    Tom on 4 Jul 2018 #

    We have got an England manager (and a track from them!) but a few others are keeping quiet. I’ll send one more email and then let you know – thanks!

    I’m going to put another couple of games up today and tomorrow too.

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