23 July 2018 when The Jam won the first ever ICA World Cup, beating Billy Bragg in the final.

If you weren’t reading all my nonsense back in 2018, I best explain.

The ICA World Cup was the idea of occasional contributor, jimdoes.

“…so I’ve had a thought… there’s 130 different teams in the ICA’s… what if there was a world cup between them to find which one was the best…?? it would all be very arbitrary but it might work…”

It got underway in January 2018, and it finished on 23 July 2018, the date of the actual final of the FIFA World Cup.  It was done on a straight knock-out basis, with 129 teams being whittled down round after round.  (A certain Manchester solo artist was excluded on the grounds of his abysmal human rights record).

The ICAs eligible were from #1-#150, but the reason for there being fewer than 150 ‘teams’ was that singers/band with more than one ICA weren’t permitted multiple entries.

For the 2022 World Cup, the ICAs from #152 – 314 are eligible – from The Jam (ICA #152) on 25 January 2018 to Cats On Fire (ICA #314) on 31 May 2022.

There remains the caveat on multiple entries, as well as excluding ICAs on themes, such as record labels, genres and producers (which is why ICA #151 about Factory Records is excluded).  It all means that 135 singers/bands can take part.

That number, however, is far too large to have a straight knock-out competition in the time available – the final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 takes place on Sunday 18 December, which is the day I’ll be aiming for the ICA World Cup to end.

To achieve this target date, there’s going to have to be a very severe cull from the group stages to the knock-out phase :-

GROUP A – 17 teams (8 to qualify) : Sunday 10 July

GROUP B – 16 teams (8 to qualify) : Sunday 17 July

GROUP C – 18 teams (8 to qualify) : Sunday 24 July

GROUP D – 17 teams (8 to qualify) : Sunday 31 July

GROUP E – 17 teams (8 to qualify) : Sunday 7 August

GROUP F – 17 teams (8 to qualify) : Sunday 14 August

GROUP G – 17 teams (8 to qualify) : Sunday 21 August

GROUP H – 16 teams (8 to qualify) : Sunday 28 August

Round of 64 : Week 1 (4 matches) : Sunday 4 September

Round of 64 : Week 2 (4 matches) : Sunday 11 September

Round of 64 : Week 3 (4 Matches) : Sunday 18 September

Round of 64 : Week 4 (4 matches) : Sunday 25 September

Round of 64 : Week 5 (4 matches) : Sunday 2 October

Round of 64 : Week 6 (4 matches) : Sunday 9 October

Round of 64 : Week 7 (4 matches) : Sunday 16 October

Round of 64 : Week 8 (4 matches) : Sunday 23 October

Round of 32 : Week 1 (4 matches) : Sunday 30 October

Round of 32 : Week 2 (4 matches) : Sunday 6 November

Round of 32 : Week 3 (4 matches) : Sunday 13 November

Round of 32 : Week 4 (4 matches) : Sunday 20 November

Round of 16 : 8 Matches : Sunday 27 November

Quarter-Finals : 4 Matches : Sunday 4 December

Semi-Finals : 2 Matches : Sunday 11 December

Final : 1 Match : Sunday 18 December

The arrangements for the draw, like all things in modern football, became a bit complicated as I tried to ensure a fair spread across the eight groups from the different contributors.  Of the 135 ICAs included, I’m responsible for 35 of them, and these will be spread evenly and randomly across six of the groups – A, B, D, E, G and H.

Group C, which has 18 teams, consists entirely of ICAs contributed by Hybrid Social Professor (HSP), who rather sadly seems not to have contributed at all to the blog since June 2020 having been ridiculously prolific up to then.

Group F has 17 teams, and consisting of six ICAs by Alex G, five ICAs by Middle Aged Man and six ICAs by Khayem.

All the remaining guest contributions have been spread out so that almost nobody will find themselves with two teams in the same group – for instance, JTFL has four teams and these will be placed in Groups B, E, G and H.  The almost nobody exception is SWC, who has seven entries spread across six groups, with one doubler (I warned you it was complicated!!!)

As you can tell, this is really depending on a decent level of audience participation, especially in the group stages, where you will be asked to submit eight songs to enable a singer or band to progress.  In the event of ties, the rolling of a dice will determine which side(s) progress.

Tune in next week for details of Group A. Voting will open as soon as the posting appears and will close at midnight, UK time, the following Saturday. All votes will be through the comments section – I had an e-mail option last time around, but it proved difficult to keep a track of, with some responses going into the junk folder and not being counted.

I’ll finish off this week with a very fine World Cup theme tune to get you in the mood:-

mp3 : The Scottish World Cup Squad 1982 – We Have A Dream

Featuring John Gordon Sinclair, of Gregory’s Girl Fame.

I’ll hopefully see some of you here next Sunday…..otherwise I’ll have a huge flop on my hands!!!



  1. I’m not going to pretend I followed much of the detail of that but I think I get the jist. How exciting!
    Hats off to you for what seems likely to be a massive undertaking, again.

  2. Given the hosts of the official FIFA world cup have a horrendous human rights record, can we look forward to the participation of a certain Manchester solo artist? 😉
    We could immediately knock him out in the same way many of us are hoping the FIFA hosts get a tonking from Ecuador.
    Looking forward to this.

  3. Great stuff, JC. I didn’t participate in the 2018 ICA World Cup – I was a silent follower back in those days – so I’d better pull my weight this time. Looking forward to kick off next week!

  4. Looking forward to this, although I would prefer ‘Back Home’ from the England 1970 world cup squad as a mood setter.

  5. Ah! Was going to mail you about this – I’d been meaning to write a couple of ICAs for inclusion in the World Cup but never got round to it! So pleased to see it back… was a joy last time and I’m sure it will be again – thanks for finding the time and energy to get it going again – and I’m looking forward to next Sunday already

  6. A lot of my ICAs were about Elvis Costello so you can just hand me the cup now.

  7. I’ve just pulled my hammy warming up for this, but the gaffer says I should be fit enough for match day.

    Definitely looking forward to this!

  8. ‘We Have A Dream’ is one of the few football related songs I quite like, I suppose because it takes the piss. Many years later I met one of the backing singers at a parent’s night speaking about his son Steve Narey, and asked the great Dundee United legend David, was it really a toe poke? “How many times have I been asked that?” he replied.

  9. I’ve just realised that a great many people will not be aware that David Narey scored a great goal against Brazil in that 1982 World Cup Final first round game. Jimmy Hill, a TV presenter, said it was a toe poke. Scottish football fans then started a song about him that his wife strenuously disagreed with.

  10. Need to know the exact height of the cup (+base) so I know which cabinet to put it in.

  11. This is obviously ridiculously exciting and will take us through to December (that depresses me slightly I must admit). Think I have a few runners in this race. Viva Kylie.

  12. Since the 2022 football World Cup is bent as fuck, can’t I just forward you a massive bung and skip all this actual listening to music malarkey?

  13. Ah, it was great fun last time (and I haven’t a clue or a care about that other World Cup!) Looking forward again, thanks JC.

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