With the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa coming closer, a forum member of AlternateHistory.com thought up of creating its own soccer tournament in the forum to run parallel with the tournament, but instead with nations of an alternate world, hence the name of the thread AH World Cup (AH stands for Alternate History).
Forum members came up with their own alternate nations until the numbers reach up to 32 nations, the number of the teams competing in the Real Life World Cup. Then the nations are put into their groups and the matches are simulated by some of the forum members in which someone else can make the write-up for the results of the matches.
Due to some Schedule Slip here and there, the tournament officially ended a few months after the real tournament. The winner is Bavaria with California as the runners-up.
AH.com did sequels to the game in 2014 and 2018, and a spinoff (based on the UEFA Euro Championships) in 2012 and 2016.
This fictional tournament provides examples of:
- Alternate History: The setting of the whole thing has its own universe created by the contributors.
- Butt-Monkey: Ethiopia, who were routed twice in their first two matches.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Though they managed to draw their last match.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Happens in some matches, the biggest one is West Indies' 7-0 victory over Ethiopia.
- Depending on the Writer: Given that it is actually various people who made the write-ups, the reactions of the teams involved tend to vary.
- Every Year They Fizzle Out: Byzantium is set up as this, with the in-story history having them to be favorites to be champions but had never actually won it all.
- Famous-Named Foreigner: This is sometimes used regarding the names of the players.
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: We didn't actually get to see the matches itself but actually a point of view of someone who sees the matches.
- In some occasions, the bias for a certain team are made quite obvious.
- Opposing Sports Team: Texas seems to be set up this way, it is even explicitly stated that they tend to play rough and dirty and drew many cards.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Brazil defeated the Khmer Republic and advanced to the quarterfinals. But at the cost of their two main strikers, one through yellow-card accumulation and the other through injury.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: A very similar thing happened at the actual World Cup in 2014, to the same team no less.
- Red Baron: Some players had their own nicknames:
- British North America's Murray Humperdinck: Bloody Murder
- Timurid Empire's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: The Armored Dinner Jacket (which is a reference to the nickname of the Real Life Ahmadinejad)
- Riddle for the Ages: How the world itself got into the way it is with the alternate nations, it is generally left to the imaginations of the readers.
- Ripped from the Headlines: One of the write-up stories is about the controversy of the World Cup ball, a similar controversy to the 2010 World Cup's ball.
- Scrapbook Story