FA To Introduce A New Qualification For England Players?


As part of the Football Association’s plan to improve the structure of the game, they are looking to address the education of potential England players. Greg Dyke has consulted with the Minister for Education on the issue and wants to introduce a qualification for England players. We have obtained an early draft of a GCSE exam.

Association Football GCSE: Qualification For England Players

Multiple choice

Take your time to read the questions carefully. You should put yourself in the position described in the question and select one only of the alternative answers set out below for each question. You should place an X at the end of the answer you think is the correct one. There is only one correct answer for each question. You have 45 minutes to complete the paper.

1. You are in the fortunate position of being England’s talisman; the player that managers and pundits alike say is world class. It is your 3rd World Cup and your chance to cement your reputation as an England great. Against Italy, you create an opening for yourself in the area, do you:

A. Slide it past the post, missing the target.

B. Hit the target and score.

2. You are asked to play out on the wing, not your favourite position, so that you can cover the left back and deal with a second runner in behind. When he makes his run, do you:

A. Run with him and prevent him crossing.

B. Let him go, jog forlornly behind and watch him make a goal for your opponents.

3. Against Uruguay you are played in your favourite central position. You are a bit of a free kick specialist. England get a free kick on the edge of the area. Do you:

A. Curl it over the bar and to the side of the post missing the target.

B. Get it on target and score.

4. You leap to head a cross from a yard out. Do you:

 A. Head it against the bar and out again.

B. Head it in the net and score.

 5. You have at last scored your first World Cup goal for England. It was a tap in from a yard out but you had bust a gut to make a perfect run to take out the defender. You then get a chance to win the game for England. Do you:

 A. Slot it into the corner of the gaping net and score the winner.

B. Tap it lamely into the goalkeeper’s arms.

6. You are the England captain. You have come through all sorts of adversity to lead your country into this World Cup. You are drawing in the second crucial first round match, having come back from a goal down and dominating the game. Their goalie tries a hopeful punt. You jump for it in the centre circle. As it is in the air, their world class striker, a club colleague of yours runs into an offside position behind our static defenders. Do you:

[Photo: Alan Hill]A. Head the ball back into the opponent’s half.

B. Head it into touch.

C. Let it go through to him, knowing he is well offside.

D. Glance it 25 yards straight into his path playing him onside for him to run on and score the winner for the opposition, just as you have done many times as his captain and partner for your domestic team.

7. You are an England player on £200,000 a week basic salary. You are out of the World Cup after 2 consecutive defeats and return home with 3 weeks of the World Cup still to go. On your return, do you:

A. Reflect on the ridiculous unfairness of you pay compared to people in other walks of life, keep £300,000 net per annum of your salary and set up charitable trusts to donate the rest to medical research and the underprivileged.

B. Carry on as before in the belief that your talent deserves it.

C. Treat yourself and this week’s partner to extravagant jewellery, cars, holidays and clothes to ease the pain of the latest failure.

D. Become a monk.

E. Become an alcoholic.

Part B for those planning to take the management/PR element of the syllabus.


8. You are the England manager, a lifetime’s ambition. Against the odds over the past two years you have taken over a team that was a shambles and performed abysmally at the 2010 World Cup under the previous foreign superstar manager. You have steadily improved and developed it. Your behaviour at press conferences and off the pitch activities has been impeccable, just what the FA needed.

You are now selecting the squad for the World Cup. It is the first time your defence is going to be tested in the real heat of battle for 2 years. The best left back in the world over the past 10 years is available for selection having returned to his domestic team in the last month of the season and significantly nullified the world class striker who will be playing against us in the first round. Do you:

A. Select him, knowing that none of the alternatives have been tested in this environment.

B. Leave him behind and take a domestic rival who is best known for his forward runs and free kicks – plus a couple of promising inexperienced youngsters.

9. You have available for selection a superstar of the Premier League who has failed to perform at every major competition he has played in. He has not scored a goal in two World Cups and he got injured a month before the end of the season. Do you:

A. Go against your stated policy of not gambling on unfit players like managers in previous World Cups and take him anyway.

B. Risk uproar and criticism by leaving him behind and taking a fit player that is in form instead.

10. Having taken the youngsters identified at question 8B, do you

A. Choose not to play them and make your superstar striker play in the covering position instead.

B. Play the youngsters allowing your superstar to play in his best position.

11. One of the young midfielders who has developed quickly over the past year gets a knee ligament injury in a friendly after he has been selected for the squad. He spent much of the season out injured too. You have the option of calling up a replacement or taking this second unfit player, gambling that he will be fit enough to take part in the competition. Do you:

A. Take him anyway, gambling that he will recover on time, knowing we could be knocked out before he is fit enough to play.

B. Break the sad news to him that you need a fully fit squad and select a replacement.

12. It is the day before our second crucial first round game. We have already lost the first one. At the press conference you are asked about the superstar striker who is returning from injury to play against us. Do you:

A. Say that despite having just been voted double footballer of the year he is not a world class striker until he has proved himself by performing at the World Cup, thus inspiring him, if he needed it, to pull out all the stops against us.

B. Say that he is clearly a world class talent but despite that we will do our best to stop him and after all we have some world class players of our own.


13. You are the England captain at the same press conference. You have the opportunity to inspire your team mates and the country. Do you say something like,

A. “It will be the worst summer ever if we lose this game and go out of the World Cup. You will feel terrible. I know, I’ve been there before.”

B. “This is our opportunity to prove how good we are and advance. They are tough opponents but we have some great players and we will give our utmost to show our true class and passion for our country. We can win this match and go far.”

More from World Cup


14. You are a Fleet Street editor. We need to beat Uruguay and rely on Italy to beat Costa Rica. Do you

A. Print disrespectful pictures and articles on their two superstars, winding them up in advance of the games, making banal references to their appearance, behaviour and past misdemeanours.

B. Say something respectful about their abilities and encourage our own players to show they are as good, if not better.

FA Chief Administrator

15. You are the FA’s decision making executive. Having watched the sterling work done by the current manager with the present squad over the past two years you have now seen the team go out of the World Cup without a win at the earliest stage for over 50 years.

Do you:

A. Sack him as you writhe in the agonies of terrible disappointment.

B. Confirm his retention and back him to continue the good work, clearly stating your belief that we are going in the right direction despite this disappointing setback. (Clue: the correct answer is B).

That is the end of the examination. You must not look at the answers of fellow candidates.

Sign and date the examination paper (this carries 10% of the marks) and hand it in to the invigilator on your way out.