***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 6 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 Australia, which has qualified for the World Cup on five occasions.
Nickname: The Socceroos
FIFA Ranking: 42 (Mar 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Qualified, defeating Peru in interconfederation playoff
Australia has always been getting robbed. Between 50,000 and 65,000 years ago, the earliest ancestors of the Aboriginal people ventured from South East Asia and robbed the land by claiming ownership of a natural landscape and ecosystem. These highly spiritual and traditional tribes would honour the land that had become their home by robbing the land from its rightful owners (no one) and saying ‘MINE!’ (and thereby legitimising any future claims of land ownership by settlers. Whoopsie!). They would bear the fruit of this robbery until the arrival from Britain of the first fleet in 1788, which, carrying robbers a plenty, took to the seas with the intention of creating a penal colony. Setting foot on land following the treacherous journey, the British colonisers then took the torch of robbery and made it burn with a glow that still burns brightly today.
Off the pitch, that was pretty much that. While on it, the robberies continued.
Ever since its foundation, the Australian national soccer team has also suffered similar robberies. The Socceroos first got robbed by New Zealand on a tour in 1922. Then, they were robbed by England 17-0 in 1951, by India at the 1956 Olympic Games, by North Korea in the 1966 World Cup playoffs, by Israel in the 1970 edition, by East and West Germany at the 1974 World Cup, Iran and Kuwait in qualifying for the 1982 World Cup, New Zealand in qualifying for the 1986 World Cup, Israel in qualifying for the 1990 World Cup, next by Argentina in 1993, and then by Peter Hoare and Iran in 1997.
Four years later Australia was robbed by Uruguay in qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, then by Italy in 2006, in 2010 by the referee who sent Harry Kewell off against Ghana at the World Cup, by the Dutch in 2014, and by VAR and Bert Van Marwijk (after not bringing on Tim Cahill vs Peru) in 2018.
All that said, there was one time when the Australian national team wasn’t robbed, and it came on home soil at the Asian Cup in 2015, even though they almost were (See below).
One to watch: Actually, you know what, before you do anything, just double check which type of football you’re in fact watching
There’s one Australian senior men’s national football team that are ranked 6th in the world, there’s another Australian senior men’s national football team ranked 6th in the world, there’s another ranked 40th and there’s another one that used to only play against Ireland in a totally different type of football to the football they actually play and doesn’t even play that type of football at all anymore.
So if you’re keen on kicking back and catching a game featuring the Australian national football team, you’re just gonna wanna check to see if you’re watching the Wallabies, Kangaroos, Socceroos or the ‘ERROR: TEAM DISBANDED’.
There’s one way to say yes (‘Yeah’) in Australia, one way say to say no (‘Nah’) and 1,362 ways to say you’re too lazy to do something (‘Can’t be bothered/ Can’t be stuffed/Can’t be fucked/Can’t be assed/Can’t be buggered etc.’).
And this comes in handy when you’re trying to have a conversation about football because after half an hour of first just trying figure out which fucking one you’re talking about, you’re gonna feel like giving up as well.
The Highpoint: Round of 16, 2006 World Cup
After countless robberies throughout its history, on November 16th, 2005 this happened…
Australia had qualified for the 2006 World Cup, for the first time in 32 years, beating Uruguay in Sydney on penalties (eat shit, Uruguay).
At the Finals, Australia faced off against Japan in their opener. And with the pre-game festivities still in full swing early in the first half, once again Australia were robbed (again by the referee), before Tim Cahill not only saved the Socceroos from their 24,000th robbery, but then gave them the win with a brace for the ages.
Next up, Australia clashed with Brazil in Munich, and surprise surprise: another robbery. While in the Aussies’ next and final group game, this time against Croatia, multiple robberies were committed–one by Guus Hiddink who played back-up goalie Zeljko Kalac instead of regular #1 Mark Schwarzer, another robbery was perpetrated by Kalac himself whose second-half brain fart seemed to rob us of our spot in the round-of -16, and a third robbery was committed by English referee Graham Poll, who showed three red cards to Croatia’s Josip Simunic before sending him off. That said, a finally robbery was committed by the Australians themselves as Harry Kewell stole the vital point the team needed, taking the Socceroos out of the group and into the round of 16 for the first time ever.
Remarkably, Australia would now take the field against the 3 times World Champions, Italy. And wow, would ya believe it? Yet another robbery! No duh. The robberies just never end.
Even though the Australians had an extra man against the Azzurri for 40 minutes after Marco Materazzi was sent off, and still couldn’t score, THEYS WOZ ROBBED, I TELLS YA. This robbery cut the deepest. As if the Socceroos hadn’t been robbed enough already by the referee awarding a penalty DISGUSTINGLY due to a defender not winning the ball, impeding his run in the process and consequently bundling him over, this robbery was added to the long list of robbery-themed injustices inflicted on the Aussies. Had this latest robbery not occurred it’s a stone-cold fact that they would know doubt have beaten Italy, topped Ukraine in the quarter-finals, knocked off Germany in the semis and destroyed France in the final. But sadly, yep, you guessed it: they were robbed.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 | GROUP STAGE
22 Nov 2022
FRANCE 🇫🇷 x 🇦🇺 AUSTRALIA
26 Nov 2022
TUNISIA 🇹🇳 x 🇦🇺 AUSTRALIA
30 Nov 2022
AUSTRALIA 🇦🇺 x 🇩🇰 DENMARK
FIFA WORLD CUP 2022 QATAR – Asia Fourth Round (playoff)
7 June 2022
UAE 🇦🇪 x 🇦🇺 AUSTRALIA