***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS FROM MY BALCONY ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is only about 4 periods away (depending on your own set of menstrual circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Fiji, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Off the radar
Nickname: Bula Boys
FIFA Ranking: 163 (June 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance to intercontinental playoff, eliminated in first round group stage
Representing the nation that pioneered GPS technology’s use in aviation, the Fiji national soccer team has not been spotted on a radar in its entire history.
Fiji was the first nation to volunteer as a test case for the use of GPS in air travel. It was this Pacific Island nation’s foresight that ultimately lead to the retirement of inefficient and problematic aviation locating equipment, and the universal implementation of GPS has enabled the country to be witnessed by far more people across the globe than ever. On the flip side, its national soccer team has hardly even registered a blip on the same radar.
Failing to even to reach a final of its regional Oceania Nations Cup, some close observers have claimed that signs of the Fijian national team did register once in 1988, when they defeated Australia 1-0 in the first leg of the first round of Oceania qualifying for the 1990 World Cup. However, these faint signs of life suddenlly disappeared as Fiji was destroyed 5-0 in the second leg. Apart from a few brief flashes in the regional Melanesia Cup, the Pacific Games and in Olympic rugby (a whole different sport), the nation of Fiji has not been identified and confirmed on the radar since.
Despite completely vanishing from the face of the international soccer radar, with Oceania to be granted 1.5 spots at the 2026 World Cup, if conditions are perfect, Fiji may, for the first ever time, soon appear on world soccer’s navigation display.
One to watch: That you bring dried kava roots to your host’s place
The true essence of Fijian hospitality centres around sevusevu, a concept which in some of Fiji’s more isolated villages involves a custom whereby invited guests must present a dried bundle of the mildly hallucinogenic and analgesic root kava to their hosts in order to be accepted inside their home. This social ritual establishes a complex relationship between host and guest, and you should never enter a Fijian village without a bundle of kava (or more specifically waka, the lower, darker and more potent part of the kava plant). So don’t just think you can rock up to your host’s place with a with a bottle of cheap red, box of chocolates or a Dawson’s Creek DVD boxset and think that that should do the trick.
Furthermore, when your host later offers you some gross-looking grog (kava mixed with water), not only should you accept, but after you do, and you feel yourself starting to drift into other meta-universes, don’t start quoting to your hosts classic lines from Dawson’s Creek, like when Pacey said, “I remember” to Joey about her mum’s bracelet, or that episode when Dawson said, “A soulmate is like a best friend but more” to his little sister on the sofa.
The Highpoint: Defeating Australia 1-0, first leg, first round of World Cup 1990 qualifying (ignore the rest of the result)
In the first round of Oceania qualifying for the 1990 World Cup, Fiji faced Australia in a two leg playoff for a spot in the second round of OFC qualifying. In a stunning result, Fiji came out victors in the first match played in Nadi, Fiji, thanks to a solitary 66th minute goal scored by Nadigi. A draw in the second leg would have been enough to take the Fijians through to the final round and a chance at an inter-confederation playoff, but alas it wasn’t to be. And frankly, it wasn’t even close to be, as they got trounced 5-0 in the return leg in Newcastle. Records and footage from that first leg are scarce, however there’s plenty of the second leg smashing delivered by Australia. So if you’re a Fiji fan, just hit play the highlights of the video below, skip all the Australian goals, watch the Fiji goal (1:25), and that’s pretty much what happened in the first match.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
Nothing showing up on the radar, over.