Thirty Years of Hurt (And Counting) Years of pain, tension and cushion biting were introduced on this day in 1949 as both England and Wales faced each other in the first World Cup qualifier for either team. Up to that point, no British teams had participated in the World Cup due to a dispute with Fifa. As they returned to the footballing fold, Fifa allowed the British Home Championship tournament, featuring England Scotland, Wales and Ireland, to act as a qualifying group. The winners of the competition, and the runners up, would be going to the World Cup. In front of 61,079 at Ninian Park, Cardiff, England thrashed the hone team 4-1, with a hat-trick from Jackie Milburn. England won the competition with Scotland qualifying in second place - though they refused to go to the tournament as they hadn’t won it outright. The subsequent tournament was a typical England World Cup fiasco with painful losses to Spain and the USA leading to an early exit. Sound familiar?