***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 Suriname, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
A thank you would be nice, Netherlands
Nickname: Natio (National)
FIFA Ranking: 143 (August 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from first round group stage (CONCACAF), finishing 2nd in group behind Canada
Hey Netherlands, you remember the 1988 European Cup you won? Yeah. And how about the semi-final at France 1998, when you fell just short of reaching the World Cup final on penalties? Or what about Euro 2000, when an identical situation played out? Or Euro 2004, where you got to the semis again? Also, does the 2010 World Cup ring a bell, hmm? Where you came within a whisker of being World Champions for the inaugural time, succumbing to Spain (one of the greatest ever World Cup sides) only in extra-time? Or successfully qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after an eight year hiatus? You remember all those right? Yeah. Well, who got you there? Was it players of Surinamese descent like Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, Gerald Vanenburg, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Winston Bogarde, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Aron Winter, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Michel Vorm, Nigel De Jong, Virgil Van Dijk and Gigi Wijnaldum maybe? Yeah, exactly, meanwhile, former Dutch colony Suriname languishes around #150 in the FIFA World Rankings without getting close to even qualifying for a World Cup. So how ’bout a thanks, Netherlands?
Suriname’s greatest accomplishment in international soccer is reaching the final stage of World Cup qualifying for the 1978 edition, qualifying for the Gold Cup three times (never advancing past the group stage), winning the 1978 Caribbean Cup and the kind of bullshit ABCS Tournament three times. Meanwhile, the Netherlands have been gallivanting in, out and all around World Cup and Euro finals and semifinals, rubbing it in Suriname’s face. The least you could do, Netherlands, is offer them some goddamn appreciation. Shit, Suriname would even take a nod of gratitude at this point, a simple nod for providing you with, you know, a truckload of players that brought a transformative South American flair to your national team, which without, your national team would be as anodyne and skull-graspingly dull as a roadtrip through the Netherlands countryside, or worse, the German national team.
Oh, and you know what, while we’re at it… hey Ajax, AC Milan, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and PSV, how ’bout even a lame tip of your cap to Suriname, huh? For the European Cups hmmm? Huh? Seriously, even a thumbs up emoji? Or nah? Too much to ask? Or what about you Chelsea? Where would you be without Suriname hmm? Still pottering around mid-table probably, just like you were before Ruud Gullit came in and made you relevent for the first time in over 40 years.
Despite all the success Suriname has gifted the Netherlands with, the Dutch have been unable to even mouth the words ‘thank you’. You know what, at this point Suriname would take a half-hearted, condescending sarcastic smile. But whatever, Suriname’s pushed on and in qualifying for Qatar 2022, it actually fell just short of advancing to the playoffs for a spot in the final hexagonal round. Natio will be hoping to go one better in the 2026 World Cup, because you know what, Netherlands, Suriname’s not mad anymore, they’re just over it. They’re done begging for some appreciation, but don’t expect them to send you anymore superstar talent like the old days.
One to watch: Whatever animal you’re looking at (it’s probably a new species)
During an 2012 expedition that lasted just three weeks, a team of scientists discovered over 60 new species within the Suriname’s virtually untouched south-eastern region. Unearthing 11 new species of fish, one new snake, six new frogs, and a wealth of new insects, the crew were particularly struck by the number of tree frogs found. So if you’re in Suriname right now and you’re hanging out leaning against a tree, look up, BOOM, it’s likely you’re looking at a tree frog that’s never been seen before. Or if you’re more of a river guy, and you’re lazing down by the Suriname river, BAM, look down, pretty sure you’ve got your peepers on some never-before-seen species of fish. And if neither trees nor rivers float your boat, and you’re more of a soil guy, just doing what you love most–digging around in the mud– then KAPOW, no doubt that right now you’re witnessing insect history right before your eyes, as countless uncatalogued bugs currently do gross insect things right beneath your nose.
The Highpoint: Final round of qualifying for the 1978 World Cup
Just three years after gaining independence, leaving its citizens to choose whether to stay put and try makes things work in a fledgling and destabilised new nation or flee to the Netherlands for better opportunities (albeit while facing a torment of discrimination after arrival), Suriname managed to reach the final round of the 1977 CONCACAF Championship, which also doubled as World Cup qualifying for the 1978 tournament in Argentina. This was arguably Suriname’s finest era, with Natio also winning the Caribbean Championship two years later, but with all its best talent soon shipping off to Europe (see above) post-independence, the less said about their efforts in qualifying for Argentina ’78, where they finished bottom of the six-team group with a -11 goal difference, the better.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
22 Sep 2022
SURINAME 🇸🇷 x 🇳🇮 NICARAGUA
CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE & CONCACAF GOLD CUP 2023 QUALIFYING
23 March 2023
SURINAME 🇸🇷 x 🇲🇽 MEXICO