***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 Saint Lucia, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Winner of the World Cup 2022 trophy for withdrawn teams
Nickname: The Piton
FIFA Ranking: 173 (August 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from second round (AFC) group stage, finishing below UAE and Vietnam
In qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, just two out of FIFA’s 211 national teams withdrew from the qualification process. North Korea pulled out in the middle of the second round of Asian qualifying, however, the first–and therefore champion–of the withdrawals was Saint Lucia, who pulled out even prior to the commencement of the first round of CONCACAF qualifying.
Unlike North Korea, Saint Lucia didn’t need to wait around long to say Fuck it and bail on World Cup qualifying, and nor did they even need a clear reason either. While the North Koreans were already in the middle of their campaign when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Saint Lucia were still yet to commence theirs, but whereas North Korea were actually on track for progression to the following round at the time of pulling out, the Saint Lucia national FA immediately knew that the prohibitive costs or mandatory health restrictions or climate change or the economy or immigration or because they don’t feel like it would preclude its national team from putting together a competitive team, due mainly to COVID-19 and also mainly because they’re Saint Lucia.
As such, considering the hard and fast rule that ‘first in, best dressed’, it is not North Korea who are officially World Cup 2022 Champions of the withdrawn teams, but in fact Saint Lucia. And while The Piton has an impressive record of at least one victory in each World Cup campaign since its first attempt in 1998, its World Cup 2022 triumph of the withdrawals is an astonishing achievement for this tiny island nation of just 184,000 people, and will forever be one that Saint Lucians are proud/confused about.
One to watch: Blackbeard’s treasure
The notoriously terrifying pirate Blackbeard pillaged and plundered his way around the shores of Saint Lucia, also allegedly stashing treasure in Black Bay, on the island’s south coast. Treasure be there, say I, according to multiple websites referring to local legend, so keep your eyes pealed. Just keep in mind that Blackbeard’s bark was arguably worse than his bite, terrorising enemies mostly if not entirely with his fearsome black beard, the fuses that he lit and placed under his hat and simply appearing as “such a figure that imagination cannot form an idea of a fury from hell to look more frightful,” so he may have just been full of shit and all show, all talk, and no action and the treasure that apparently within the confines of Saint Lucia may just be a case of olde Blackbeard talking ye olde shite.
The Highpoint: 3rd at the 1991 Caribbean Cup
It’s no mean feat for a bitesized island such as Saint Lucia to reach the semi-finals of anything, let alone an early 90s edition of a biennial regional tournament that has now been abandoned and in which Cuba, yeah Cuba, was given a free pass to the finals apparently because of ‘regional strength’ and then withdrew after the groups were drawn but before it started, leaving Group A with three teams instead of four (dick move, Cuba). Saint Lucia did however manage draws in the final tournament against Martinique and Dominican Republic before astonishingly knocking off Trinidad and Tobago (see the match preview above!) in the final group game. Falling to Jamaica in the semis, they still managed to claim the bronze, taking the prize off Guyana impressively 4-1 in the 3rd place playoff. Wow.
And as far as the World Cup goes? Despite never reaching the final round, The Piton have managed at least a single win in each of their qualifying attempts except for one (1998), oh, yeah 2022 (see above…idiots), and it even reached the second round in qualifying for 2014 after dropping Aruba over two legs and eventually on penalties. That’s where the fun ended because they then proceeded to get rolled by about 10 goals in each of their next round group games. Not bad though, Saint Lucia. Not bad.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE & CONCACAF GOLD 2023 QUALIFYING
24 March 2023
ANGUILLA 🇦🇮 x 🇱🇨 SAINT LUCIA
27 March 2023
SAINT LUCIA 🇱🇨 x 🇩🇲 DOMINICA