***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 11 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 Iraq, which has qualified for the World Cup once, in 1986.
Invented the wheel, agriculture, medical diagnosis and prescription, mathematics, astronomy, cursive script, the 24-hour day and basically civilization (not to mention reaching a World Cup and winning our continent’s top soccer championship). What’s your crappy country ever done?
Nickname: The Lions of Mesopotamia
FIFA Ranking: 75 (Nov 2021)
The Iraqi national team went into the 2007 Asian Cup seemingly in a state of total disarray. In the build up, its entire squad had been forced into exile, having to flee their country due to extortion and death threats upon them and their families from criminal gangs refusing to accept a group of Sunnis, Shia muslims, and Iraqi kurds playing on the same team. Players were also forced to carry machine guns to just go to training and goalkeeper Noor Sabri’s brother in law was killed prior to the tournament. With all these factors in mind, little was expected of the Lions of Mesopotamia. Anyway, long story short, the team made it out of the group, beat Vietnam in the quarters, and then South Korea in the semi-finals (with Noor Sabri making the winning save in the shootout). It was that night that amidst overjoyed celebrations back in Baghdad, a suicide bomber walked into an ice cream parlour and killed 30 people rejoicing in the team’s victory. After learning of the news, the national side considered pulling out of the final, but it was only after an impassioned plea to continue from the mother of one of the young victims, that they decided to play on. They would go on to win the final, defeating Saudi Arabia 1-0 and becoming champions of Asia (their first ever Asian cup triumph).
Yeah so there’s that, and also the people of Mesopotamia (a region situated upon the lands of modern day Iraq and Kuwait) were responsible for the foundation of medical diagnosis and prescription, astronomy, mathematics, farming, as well the invention of the wheel.
Beat that. Seriously. Has your shitty little country done anything even half as good?
One to watch: Whoever’s currently got their phone flashlight on
Electrical blackouts (like the one above) are commonplace in Iraq, so what you’re gonna wanna do is wanna keep an eye on and stay close to the person closest to you who’s currently got their phone flashlight on. Don’t worry though, these things happen pretty regularly round here. It’s no big deal. The lights’ll be back on any second.
The highpoint: Group stage, 1986 World Cup
Oh man, brutal. One of the most underrated and overachieving sides in world football history, Iraq reached the 1986 World Cup, for the first ever time, and despite dominant masterful tackling like above, it went out in straight sets, losing to Mexico, Belgium and Paraguay all by single goal margins.
Yeah, but then, only 21 years later, this happened. And by this, I mean the 2007 Asian Cup, in which chaos on its home front, Iraq steamrolled its way through the entire tournament to ultimately lift the trophy. Shit yeah.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
FIFA ARAB CUP | QATAR 2021
QATAR 🇶🇦 x 🇮🇶 IRAQ
FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 | QUALIFYING (ASIA) | ROUND 3
27 Jan 2022
IRAN 🇮🇷 x 🇮🇶 IRAQ
1 Feb 2022
LEBANON 🇱🇧 x 🇮🇶 IRAQ
24 March 2022
IRAQ 🇮🇶 x 🇦🇪 UAE
29 Mar 2022
SYRIA 🇸🇾 x 🇮🇶 IRAQ