***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 three moons away (depending on your own set of lunar 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 Guyana, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Nickname: The Golden Jaguars
FIFA Ranking: 172 (August 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from first round group stage (CONCACAF), finishing 4th in group below Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Puerto Rico
You know Guyana, right? Guyana. Not the baseball-crazed, terrible-at-soccer, political and economic shambles state known as Venezuela. Talkin’ ’bout Guyana here. You know, the tiny, forest-covered, recently-very-oil-rich minnow nation at the top end of South America that is a former British colony and the only English-speaking country in South America.
Guyana is Guyana, okay? Not Venezuela. Despite what you might hear across the border or on Venezuelan maps, it does not represent Venezuela. Not even a fraction, let alone three quarters of it (as Venezuela claims, and has done so for over 120 years). The Guyana national team is not affiliated with the Venezuela national team, and it’s just as well, because who would want to be competing in South America anyway, with basically no chance of World Cup qualification considering your competition is made up the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, need I go on?
Now, this would be a good time to check-in and just recap. Okay, so Guyana=not Venezuela. You follow? Guyana is represented by a national team that play in CONCACAF (not CONMEBOL), are ranked in the 150s (not the 50s) and are not the team that made the semi-finals of the 2011 Copa America or the final of the 2017 Under-20 FIFA World Cup. You’re thinking of Venezuela. Guyana is not Venezuela, no matter how much you dispute or reclamar it. Guyana plays cricket first and foremost (not the equally as anodyne but shittier baseball), speaks English (not Spanish), and while it has never qualified for the World Cup (okay, that’s exactly like Venezuela), it has however managed to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup once, in 2019.
That said, if you’re from Venezuela, then yeah, forget everything I said–Guyana is three quarters Venezuela’s. But if you’re from anywhere else, then that shit is pure jumbie.
One to watch: Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Even though Shivnarine Chanderpaul blew it against Australia in the semi-final at the 1996 Cricket World Cup (80’s not 100, buddy) and despite his disappearing act on New Year’s day in 1996 against the Aussies in Sydney (much like his Guyanese mate Roger Harper’s similar performance), he still holds his place on the throne as Guyana’s most prolific and successful sportsman in its history.
Here he his at his devastating best, ravaging the Australian bowling attack in 2003, and to this day, he still sits ninth on the list of all-time leading test run scorers, second only to Brian Lara among West Indian cricketers. Three cheers for quiet, humble, weedy cricketers like Chanderpaul who defied their weediness and became legends!
The Highpoint: Qualifying for the 2019 Gold Cup
The joy, the optimism, the hope. Guyana remarkably reached the finals of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Incredible. Then they got crushed in their first two group games against Jamaica and Panama (which eliminated them from contention) before earning a point in a 1-1 dead rubber draw with Trinidad and Tobago. Nevertheless, it was still a watershed moment for the national team and remains their finest moment up until now (of course, Venezuela once again made it all about them and tried to upstage Guyana the same summer, with its under-20s reaching the final of the Under-20 World Cup. Pricks).
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE & CONCACAF GOLD CUP 2023
25 March 2023
BERMUDA 🇧🇲 x 🇬🇾 GUYANA
28 March 2023
GUYANA x 🇲🇸 MONTSERRAT