Nicola Sturgeon enters spat with FIFA over Edinburgh World Cup map omission
A Twitter spat threatened to turn into a diplomatic incident over the weekend after Edinburgh was seemingly omitted from a map of timezones showing when football fans could tune in to watch the draw for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
The map featured a selection of cities, many of them capitals, from around the globe to represent teams participating in next year’s competition.
Major world capitals such as London, Stockholm and Canberra were on the map but Edinburgh was not included, despite the Scotland women’s team having successfully qualified.
Having spotted the graphic posted by the tournament’s official account on Saturday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote: “Dear @FIFAWC - many of us will be watching from Scotland to find out which nations draw the mighty Scottish Women’s National Team - so maybe add Edinburgh to your map?”
To further illustrate her point, Ms Sturgeon followed up the tweet with a string of Saltire emojis.
The team running the World Cup’s official account were swift in their response, tweeting out an updated map that included Edinburgh a short while later.
However, they were also keen to point out that the graphic was intended to simply show timezone information spread across the world map.
Ms Sturgeon thanked those responsible for taking the time out to revise the graphic and include Edinburgh.
While some Twitter users praised the First Minister for taking to social media to argue for Scotland’s inclusion, others highlighted that it was not necessary to include both Edinburgh and London as the two cities share a timezone, with fans from both sides of the border able to watch the draw at 5pm.
@emerald_229 tweeted: “We’re in the same time zone as London. A lot of countries competing in the World Cup aren’t on the map.”
A closer look at the map shows that Edinburgh was not alone in being omitted.
Cities representing other participating nations such as Berlin, Madrid, Seoul and Rome also didn’t make the cut, presumably due to the fact that they also share timezones with other cities represented on the map.
@boycey1988 added: “State ah this man! I’m sure the Norwegian PM is sitting raging on Twitter because Oslo hasn’t been squeezed into the timezone map! This is utterly pathetic.”
Meanwhile, and despite the Russian and United Arab Emirates national sides having no involvement in next year’s World Cup, Moscow and Abu Dhabi, were visible on the graphic, further adding credence to the timezone claim by FIFA.
As for the draw, Scotland were placed in a formidable-looking Group D alongside England, Argentina and Japan.
Next year’s tournament kicks off on 7 June with the first match to be played at the Parc des Princes in Paris between hosts France and Korea Republic.
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