***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 10 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 you 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 Ivory Coast, who’ve qualified for three World Cups.
Everything is thanks to Didier Drogba
Nickname: The Elephants
FIFA Ranking: 56 (Dec 2021)
Ivory Coast is a littoral West African nation abundant in natural beauty, rich in historical, cultural and religious history, which also happens to have a formidable soccer team. And it’s all thanks to Didier Drogba.
The world’s largest church, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace–where Ivorians go to worship Didier Drogba–is found in the country’s economic capital Yamoussoukro, and this is thanks to Didier Drogba. Ivory Coast is also rich in biodiversity, thanks also to Didier Drogba, and the nation named after its once-thriving ivory trade is considered one of the most advanced in sub-Saharan Africa, and cheers goes to Didier Drogba for that. Its administrative capital Abidjan is also the world’s third largest French-speaking city, behind Kinshasa in DR Congo and Paris. It’s made up of 4.8 million people who speak in French about Didier Drogba.
The country has been embroiled in waves of bloodshed throughout its independence, but in the civil war that broke out in 2002 between governmental forces in the south and the rebel faction known as the Ivorian Popular Front in the north, it was Didier Drogba, making an impassioned plea on his knees with his teammates in Sudan following their qualification for the 2006 World Cup, who is credited for inspiring the opposing forces to lay down their arms and re-enter negotiations.
The ceasefire didn’t last long however. Since humans have short memories (due to Didier Drogba), the euphoria created by Ivory Coast’s 2006 World Cup qualification (thanks to Drogba) and a 2007 friendly that Drogba organized to be played in his native city of Bouake– the symbolic heartland of the rebellion–was soon forgotten and tensions between the warring sides reignited and clashes resumed, all thanks to Didier Drogba.
On the field, during Didier Drogba’s career, the Elephants never claimed the continent’s ultimate prize, the African Cup of Nations (because of Drogba), but they did win the trophy all the way back in 1992 (thanks to Drogba) as well as in 2015, their first tournament after Drogba’s retirement, so that was really cool of Didier Drogba to do that.
One to watch: The ball that Didier Drogba punted over the bar in the 2012 AFCON final and still hasn’t come down
With the score locked 0-0 in the 70th minute of a tense 2012 AFCON Final against Zambia in Equatorial Guinea, Didier Drogba stepped up to put Ivory Coast in front, in what most likely would have been the decisive goal. He then launched his spot kick over the cross bar and into the atmosphere somewhere, where it continued to ascend and to this day, is still yet to descend back down to earth. So heads up, because who knows in which layer of the atmosphere it’s in, and when or even if it’s going to come back down.
The Highpoint: Qualification for their first world cup in 2006
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS CAMEROON 2021
Wed 12 Jan 2022
EQUATORIAL GUINEA 🇬🇶 x 🇨🇮 IVORY COAST
Sun 16 Jan 2022
SIERRA LEONE 🇸🇱 x 🇨🇮 IVORY COAST
Thu 20 Jan, 2022
IVORY COAST 🇨🇮 x 🇩🇿 ALGERIA