***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS IN MY STREET 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 periods away (depending on your own set of menstrual 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 Burundi, who are yet to qualify for a World Cup.
You try getting good at soccer when you’re not even allowed to run
Nickname: The Swallows
FIFA Ranking: 139 (Mar 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from first round of qualifying (CAF), losing to Tanzania 2-2 (0-3 pen)
In 2014, President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza decreed that running was to be banned. Burundians, whether in groups, pairs or even solo, love nothing more than a leisurely dash throughout their neighbourhoods, however Nkurunziza believed that this was nothing but a cover for subversion. This is all well and good for keeping tabs on possible uprisings, but is a nightmare for the national soccer team.
There are several elements which make up a succesful international soccer team. Just take Africa’s heavyweights Senegal, Ghana or Cameroon for instance–these teams’s players have reached the top of their game due to their ability to shoot, pass, head, tackle but also, and no less importantly, run.
Without the ability to run, the national soccer team of Burundi struggles to compete internationally, hence their lacklustre position in the FIFA Rankings. And sure, playing the game at walking pace may work for a few minutes, but you can forget about scoring and don’t be surprised when you’re getting done in 1-0 in friendlies by bullshit ass teams such as Bahrain and Comoros (as Burundi learned in two recent outings).
Despite qualifying for its inaugural AFCON in 2019 in stunning fashIon, Burundi lost all three group games, didn’t register even a single goal, and just never got out of first gear, because doing so is condemned, recognised as a felony, and punishable by a jail term ranging from 5 years to life.
Despite having the legal requirement to always have at least one foot planted on the ground, the Swallows finally started taking flight in international football, with further promising times ahead. And their ascent should continue, just as long as their opponents maintain a steady walking pace and don’t ever break into anything crazy like a jog or, God forbid, a run.
One to watch: The Hutus, not the Tutsis (you’ll see ’em, they’re the ones who look less Belgian)
During its colonial rule of Burundi, Belgian colonisers gave preference to the minority Tutsi tribe, in turn marginalizing the majority Tutsi tribe by establishing an ethnic divide between the two groups, providing the Tutsi with western education and installing them in political positions to rule over the Hutus. So when you’re kickin’ it with your Burundian homies, keep an eye out for the Hutus. You’ll pick ’em off the bat–they’re the ones that favour farming crops instead of livestock, have different noses and eye colour (based on the criteria above) and just plain “superior” because they look more like Belgians in positions of power and who was known more farming livestock.
The Highpoint: Winners of a corner, African Cup of Nations 2019
Taking part in its first ever African Cup of Nations in 2019, Burundi pulled off several wins, such as this corner kick in their second group match vs Madagascar in Alexandria. And the victories didn’t end there; they also won several throw-ins, free kicks, tons of goal kicks and above all else, The Swallows won a grand total of 4 centre kick-offs after goals, without conceding even one!
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
AFCON 2023 Qualifiers | Group Stage
30 May 2022
NAMIBIA 🇳🇦 x 🇧🇮 BURUNDI
14 June 2022
BURUNDI 🇧🇮 x 🇨🇲 CAMEROON
19 Sep 2022
KENYA 🇰🇪 x 🇧🇮 BURUNDI