Learn English – “Germany is/are in the NATO alliance.” clarification please


American English native speakers watching the World Cup have been very troubled regarding why British English announcers and writers treat country names as plural nouns. This issue has already been raised several times on this forum. I still don't get it. Please consider:

(1) "Germany is one country in the World Cup."
(2) "One country in the World Cup is Germany."
(3) "Germany are in the NATO alliance."

Are all of those sentences correct in British English?

"Germany are through to the final match on Sunday." seems to be correct British English. So, should I get the sensation that "Germany" represents:
(a) the members of the German team?
(b) the citizens of Germany?

There are great existing threads about this topic. So, I just hope to have my questions above directly answered.

Best Answer

"Germany are through to the final match on Sunday."

Your assumption A) is correct: 'are' means the Germany being referred to is the German team, ie:

The players on the German team are through to the World Cup Final

For this reason, your sentence (3) is incorrect - Germany the state (and therefore singular) is in NATO.