British sports announcers say England are ahead or Scotland have scored. North American announcers say England is ahead or Scotland has scored. In NA the team or country is a singular noun so it takes a singular verb. Why is it plural in British English?

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It depends on which English one is speaking: American, Canadian or Brittish. Both "England is..." and "England are..." are correct.  As you noted, in North America the singular form is correctly used. Cross the Atlantic for the plural form to be correct.

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