***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 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 Nicaragua, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
If only punching were allowed in soccer
Nickname: La Azul y Blanco (The Blue and White)
FIFA Ranking: 139 (June 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from first round group stage (CONCACAF), finishing below Haiti
Boxing, otherwise known as pugilism or western boxing is Nicaragua’s national sport. And while this is great for the nation’s aspiring fighters, as much as it is for the sport’s ability to integrate its youth into society and keep them away from drugs and out of street crime, it’s done nothing for Nicaragua’s national soccer team, since punching opponents in the head is not allowed in the sport.
Somewhere around the dawn of human history, someone realised that instead of throwing projectiles, rocks or other blunt objects at annoying people that you want to go away, one can instead just ‘punch’ them, by enacting flexion and bending one’s fingers towards one’s palm, placing one’s thumb over the top and clenching, and then striking, or ‘boxing’ the annoying disliked person in the face. This ‘fist’ formation works just as well, if not better, than accelerating things with your hand and then releasing them so they follow a ballistic trajectory and collide with an annoying person’s head, and barely any country does it better than Nicaragua. However, sadly for La Azul y Blanco this approach is not an approved tackle or other method of recovering the ball from an opponent in soccer, and in fact is often heavily punished by referees with sanctions such as red cards, match suspensions or life bans.
Nicaragua has produced some of the world’s best ever boxers, including disgraced yet beloved Alexis Argüello and the golden boy phenomenon Román ‘Chocalitito’ González. Meanwhile, its national football team is historically Central America’s worst.
The team has never even advanced to the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, and while it has qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup on five occasions, it has never once got out of its group. But if thumping opposition players in the head in an attempt to knock them out were permitted in football we’d be having a very different conversation about how successful Nicaragua’s national team is.
One to watch: This kid, Mario Ramires and the curse he was living under
Mario Ramires (above) was abandoned by his family as a child and was being helped by Las Chavaladas, a charity in León, Nicaragua aimed at helping kids get off drugs and off the streets. Just barely a teenager, and much like several of his peers at the time, Mario was addicted to sniffing glue, using it to try forget the traumas of his past and the consequences they wrought upon him, as he was forced to face all his issues without any family support at all. With the help of the Las Chavaladas and its coordinator Amalia Cuadras, he was doing a lot better and trying his best to kick the dangerous and highly toxic habit.
He was interviewed for the documentary (below) over six years ago though, so keep an eye out, and let’s hope he’s now rid himself of the demons that once possessed him and been able to remove the Barcelona shirt he was once wearing.
The Highpoint: Nicaragua could qualify for the 2026 World Cup (!!!!!!)
Brace yourself for the good news, Nicas!!! Now, you may want to sit down for this… but standing is better for jumping up and down…
According to Nicaragua’s Canal 2, Nicaragua COULD make it to the World Cup in 2026!!! YES THAT’S RIGHT!!!!
PARTY PARTY PARTY!!!!
Now, despite most fans belief that that’s about as unlikely as the sun dying tonight, and that the team should just focus on the Gold Cup and the CONCACAF Nations League (“its World Cups”) instead, all that is moot because IT’S OFFICIAL!!! THAT’S RIGHT, NICAS–NO, YOU’RE NOT DREAMING, THIS IS NOT SOME FUCKED UP DREAM COOKED UP BY YOUR MESSED UP BRAIN!! THIS IS TRUE!! JUST LIKE 207 OTHER FIFA MEMBERS, NICARAGUA COULD (I.E. ARE ELIGIBLE) TO QUALIFY FOR THE WORLD CUP IN USA, CANADA AND MEXICO IN 2026!
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE & CONCACAF GOLD CUP 2023 QUALIFYING
24 March 2022
NICARAGUA 🇳🇮 x 🇻🇨 SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
27 March 2022
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 🇹🇹 x 🇳🇮 NICARAGUA