New official Subbuteo World Cup confirmed and England named as host

Subbuteo will launch a brand new World Cup tournament in England this year allowing fans of the table top game to compete for individual and team glory in a groundbreaking new tournament.

While football probably won’t be coming home this summer as England compete in the Euro 2024 tournament, the country’s most famous sports game is hosting a new event that marks a major milestone in the revitalisation of the game on these shores.

The English Subbuteo Association has announced a new official Subbuteo World Cup will take place in September and it will use only official Subbuteo pitches and players from all eras of the 75-year-old game.

The tournament will be run by the ESA but, for the first time ever, has been approved by the official Subbuteo brand. Owned by Hasbro and licensed to Hong Kong company Longshore, the tournament will be the first official ‘Subbuteo World Cup’ for 30 years.

It will take place in Tonbridge Wells, where Subbuteo was invented by Peter Adolph back in 1947, and the new tournament will be played alongside the more established FISTF World Cup, which is a professional-style tournament using modern flat-based players and played on non-Subbuteo pitches.

The official tournament will take place across ten tables in Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre and includes a singles and a team Subbuteo World Cup.

Announcing the tournament, ESA Chairman Alan Lee said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce we’ll be partnering once again with Subbuteo for the Official Subbuteo World Cup, which will be played alongside the Eland Cables FISTF World Cup, in Tunbridge Wells on the 20th -22nd September 2024. The event will be held at Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, in the centre of Tunbridge Wells, as part of the Celebration of Subbuteo weekend.”

Alan confirmed to The Hobby the tournament would include prize giveaways for participants and players can use any official Subbuteo teams.

He says: “For Individual and Team we’ll have 10 pitches and matching goals from different eras, teams will be up to the player.”

He confirmed all teams, pitches, balls and goals will be from official Subbuteo sets and these will be drawn at random, meaning players will have to master all eras of Subbuteo to win the title.

Subbuteo famously held World Cup competitions from 1970 onwards, with the final official tournament taking place in America to coincide with World Cup 1994. While the new tournament is a spiritual successor to these events, it is run by ESA, not the Subbuteo brand so is the first of its kind.

The FISTF and Subbuteo World Cup events in Tonbridge Wells will be a major event for the fast-growing sport. The FISTF tournament itself will take place at Tunbridge Wells sports centre, where 64 brand new tables featuring Extreme Works pitches will be built for the tournament. There will be an area for participants to relax away from the action, secure changing rooms and even a 30-stall collector’s fair expecting to bring together 300 Subbuteo fanatics to buy official tournament merchandise and buy and sell classic Subbuteo items.

There will also be a launch ceremony, live draw and other activities held by ESA and Tonbridge Council during the events.

You can see more about both tournaments here.

Stephen Hurrell
Stephen Hurrell
Stephen is the founder and editor of The Hobby Online and The Hobby by Subbuteo.Online print magazine. He is a giant nerd and specialises in Subbuteo, retro football kits and consumer stories. A journalist and editor of 15 years, he has written about football for some of the UK's biggest publications.

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