We live in truly extraordinary times.
So extraordinary, in fact, that the thing that might keep us as football fans sane is a 128-team FIFA 20 tournament organised by Leyton Orient.
Ultimate QuaranTeam is the brainchild of the League Two club, but what’s it all about? Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming global tournament.
What is Ultimate QuaranTeam?
Ultiumate QuaranTeam is a 128-team FIFA 20 tournament that will take place in the coming days.
The idea was sparked by League Two club Leyton Orient, who had initially attempted to get 64 clubs from around the world to nominate a participant.
But after a deluge of responses from clubs around the world, the O’s extended the tournament to a 128-club draw.
When will it take place?
It will be spread over the coming days, as and when the individual clubs drawn against each other can arrange a time.
It is unclear at this stage how long the tournament will go on for, but a 128-club format will mean five rounds to get to the final.
Who is participating in the tournament and what is the draw?
The draw was held on Tuesday evening, and is as follows:
|1||Accrington Stanley||Wycombe Wanderers|
|2||Leyton Orient||Lokomotiv Moscow|
|4||DC United||Celta Vigo|
|6||Norwich City||Fleetwood Town|
|7||Standard Liège||Bolton Wanderers|
|8||AS Fiorentina||Nottingham Forest|
|11||Central Coast Mariners||Shamrock Rovers|
|12||Plymouth Argyle||ESTAC Troyes|
|15||Sheffield United||Carlisle United|
|16||Peterborough United||Exeter City|
|17||AFC Wimbledon||West Ham United|
|18||Manchester City||KV Kortrijk|
|19||Cork City||Ross County|
|20||Djugården Fotboll||PSV Eindhoven|
|23||Bristol Rovers||Southend United|
|24||Orlando Pirates||FC Sion|
|25||West Bromwich Albion||AFC Ajax|
|26||Mansfield Town||KAA Gent|
|27||Colchester United||Rotherham United|
|28||Preston North End||Doncaster Rovers|
|31||Burton Albion||Sligo Rovers|
|33||Oxford United||FC Nordsjælland|
|35||Crawley Town||RKC Waalwijk|
|36||RB Salzburg||Derby County|
|37||Stoke City||Blackburn Rovers|
|38||Forest Green Rovers||Northampton Town|
|40||Oldham Athletic||Finn Harps|
|42||Melbourne Victory||Ipswich Town|
|43||Scunthorpe United||Charlton Athletic|
|44||FC Emmen||Port Vale|
|46||MK Dons||Heracles Almelo|
|47||Sheffield Wednesday||Cambridge United|
|48||PEC Zwolle||FC Groningen|
|49||ADO Den Haag||Willem II|
|50||KRC Genk||Luton Town|
|53||Fortuna Sittard||Newport County|
|55||Brighton & Hove Albion||Sparta Rotterdam|
|58||Olympique Marseille||İstanbul Başakşehir|
|59||Cheltenham Town||Salford City|
|61||AZ Alkmaar||FC Utrecht|
How will it actually work?
Details on how the tournament will be staged, streamed etc. are light currently, but we’re told they will be coming very soon. Watch this space…
Who will be playing for each team?
That’s entirely up to the individual club – it can be anyone they select, from first team player to fan.
Some clubs have already named their players – Crystal Palace named Andros Townsend as their man for the job, Neal Maupay will represent Brighton and Todd Cantwell has stepped up for Norwich.
Meanwhile some clubs with professional esports players are set to do well.
Manchester City’s esports team have already confirmed they will be representing the Premier League champions.
Why is the tournament taking place?
Great question, so we’ll leave it in the hands of Leyton Orient media manager Luke Lambourne.
“With no football on at the moment, we wanted to give our supporters something to get behind,” he told Sun Sport.
“We ran with a Football Manager thing on Saturday which went down really well, and wanted to keep it going.
“We saw the whole Connect Four thing over the weekend, and although it was fun at first, we thought it could be improved.
“After the media team spoke about it in house, we went for it, and the reaction has been superb.
“Myself and Dan Walker (media assistant) are both fans of FIFA, hence why the idea came about. We’ll be sitting out of this one though, and have someone in mind to lead the O’s to victory!
“We thought 64 was achievable, but that maybe 128 would be too high to aim for. But after a short period of time we’d already hit 64 – so we extended it, and have seen clubs from all over the world get in touch. From Finns Harp to Feyenoord!
“It’s still early days, so it’s hard to know exactly where it will go! With everything around the coronavirus at the moment, it was important that we did something to plug the gap.”
What’s it for?
Fun, really. But the O’s have also announced that it is also for charitable causes.
They will be raising money for Mind, and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fundraiser by WHO.
Money will also go into a fighting fund for EFL clubs that will suffer the most during the football-free period.
Will the games be broadcast and who are the commentators?
Details on when the games will take place and how they will be streamed are yet to be confirmed.
However, already Love Island star Iain Stirling has offered his services for commentary, as has Match of the Day stalwart Guy Mowbray.
Stay tuned for more updates…