Saturday 20 October 2018

Six Clubs Playing In Leagues Outside Their Country of Residence

Berwick Rangers
Based in the town of Berwick on the Scottish borders, despite playing Scottish League Two the town they hail from is actually on the English side of the border. The club have been affiliated with the Scottish Football Association since 1905 and members of the Scottish Football League since 1951

Berwick are not the only borders club to have played their football on the wrong side of line with Scottish clubs Annan Athletic and Gretna having both previously played non league football in England.

Derry City
Formed in 1928 and hailing from the Northern Irish city of Londonderry, also referred to as simply Derry by Irish Republicans, Derry City have played their football over border in the Republic of Ireland since 1985.

For several years forced to play their home games 30 miles away when the Irish FA deemed the home ground unsafe for fixtures, Derry struggled and in 1972 resigned from the league. With the club hailing from a mostly Catholic city and the IFA mostly ran by protestants the club felt they had been unfairly treated to due to sectarian discrimination.

For the following 13 years the club existed playing Sunday league junior football before successfully applying to join the Irish leagues where they have remained ever since, and these days play top flight football in what is currently known as the SSE Airticity League Premier Division.

FC Vaduz
The tiny landlocked European country of Liechtenstein only has seven football clubs and therefore does not have its own league, with the country's clubs all playing in the Swiss league system. The biggest of these clubs is FC Vaduz who in recent years have tended to play their football in either Switzerland's top flight Super League or it's second tier Challenge League.

The country does however have its own cup competition and the winners of this gain entry to the UEFA Europa League.

Merthyr Town
Based in the welsh town of Merthyr Tydfil, the club has always played it's football in the English league system. Currently a non league club they actually played in the Football League between 1920 and 1930. 

Merthyr are not the only Welsh club to play their football in England, Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County, and Wrexham all currently play in the English leagues. Cardiff currently play top flight football in the Premier League whilst Swansea were relegated from that division last season.

AS Monaco
The principality of Monaco does not have it's own national team and it's sole club side currently play accross the border in the top flight of French football. Formed in 1919 the club have spent their whole existence playing in the French leagues.

The club has had many successes over the years including 8 Top flight Ligue Une titles and 5 Coupe de France final victories, as well as having been runners up in both UEFA Cup Winners Cup and Champions League finals.

Vancouver Whitecaps
Based in Canada, the original Whitecaps side played in the now defunct NASL league whilst the current side has played in USA's Major League Soccer (MLS) since 2009 along with fellow Canadian sides Toronto FC and Montreal Impact.

Canadian and American sports teams playing in the same league is fairly common. Various Canadian teams play along side their American counterparts in the NHL ice hockey league, whilst the NBA basketball league and Major League  Baseball both include a small number of Canadian sides.

Playing together does not however extend to American football where Canadian sides shun the NFL to play a slight variation to the game in their own CFL league. You could draw comparisons with this and the sport of rugby where in England we play two variations of that game.

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