Association football in Mercury
|This article or section is a work in progress. The information below may be incomplete, outdated, or subject to change.|
Association football in Mercury is governed by the Mercury FA. Football is the most popular sport in Mercury in regards to both participation and spectating, with the country having the largest football league system on Micras.
The Barrington FA, predecessor to the Mercury FA, was accepted as both a member of the FMF and the EMUFA in 2010, due to the automatic membership rule, granting all new Micras nations a national football team. The first intermicronational fixture contested by Barrington was a World Cup qualifier against Cyberia at the Freddie Mercury Memorial Arena, which Cyberia won 1–0, with Barrington eventually going on to finish fourth out of five in their group, with four draws and four defeats. Shortly afterwards, the Mercury League was formed by the successor Mercury FA, with eight clubs competing in the 2010 Mercury League Cup, which was won by Mercury City, beating Bohemian Rhapsodies 2–0 in the final.
The eight clubs that took part in the Mercury League Cup joined the Four Nations for the 2011 season, and Mercury League was also first held in 2011, with six new clubs competing for a place in the following season's Four Nations. The first Four Nations was won by Tow Law FC, and the first Mercury League was won by Mercury Armed Forces FC. The national side again competed in World Cup qualifying, with an improved performance seeing them finish third and advancing to the 2011 EMU Championships. Mercury finished fourth in their six-team group, with four draws and one defeat to their name.
In 2012, the clubs in the Four Nations also competed in the 2012 Mercury League, with Tow Law FC winning their second title, although the 2012 Four Nations was won by May Wanderers. The national team again competed in World Cup qualifying, finishing first in their group and advancing to the 2012 FMF World Cup. Mercury lost their first game in the competition, against Tellia, before a 3–2 win over Stormark gave them a deciding match against Craitland, in which Mercury were eliminated by a 90th minute goal. They also competed, as hosts, in the 2012 EMU Championships, where they reached the final before being defeated on penalties by Hamland.
The highest domestic league in Mercury is the Mercury Premier League, which contains twelve teams, relegating two teams per season to the next tier below, named the Mercury Second League. The top four tiers of Mercurian football are comprised of the Premier League, and three lower tiers of fourteen teems each, and are referred to collectively as the Mercury League. Leagues below this are known collectively as the Regional Leagues.
Mercury also has a domestic cup, the Mercury FA Cup. The FA Cup is open to all clubs in the football league system
The Mercurian league system accommodates clubs from New Sussex and Nova English Korea, and although these territories both organise their own cup competitions, their clubs still compete in the Mercury FA Cup.
Mercury is represented in international football by the Mercury national football team. The national team play in yellow and white, and are considered to be one of the strongest on Micras. The national team has had numerous successes throughout its history, including winning the 2014 FMF World Cup as well as the 2014 and 2018 EMU Championships. The national team's traditional rivals are Craitland, Senya and Tellia, and previously Hamland were considered Mercury's biggest rivals.
Youth football in Senya is mainly focused on high schools, with each school hosting a team which competes in the Senyan High School Cup. Magalatska District High School is known for footballing prowess, and is known to scout nationally for good young footballers to attend the school. Senya organises the Senyan School International Tournament, which is aimed at 16 year olds to develop their footballing talent. Teams from across Micras have participated, and the tournament has never produced a Senyan winner.
After the age of 16, players either join various youth academies or go to the Education Centre, where they can practise with professional coaches to hone in their skills. In 2012, an under-18 league was contested, but was discontinued.
Support of foreign football
Mercurian supporters commonly enjoy watching other national leagues, such as the CrFA League 1, Senyan Top League and the Tellian Serie A. Interest in the Craitish league increased following Stephen Rydberg playing in the league, and renewed following the national team captain Joe Foxon's move to Cherry Trees FC.