***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 5 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 Kazakhstan, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Borat’s had nothing to do with it
Nickname: Qaršyğalar (The Hawks)
FIFA Ranking: 114 (June 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from first round (UEFA), finishing last in group below France, Ukraine, Finland and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Since its independence in 1991, Kazakhstan (which translates to “Land of the wanderers”) has stayed true to their nomadic roots, being the only former Soviet state to have played in both the Asian and now the European qualifying zones, and not one of its players nor its fans has been Borat.
The Falcons initially competed in the Asian confederation in qualifying for the 1998 and 2002 World Cups (which Borat was not involved in). But despite defeating Asian mainstays Iraq and United Arab Emirates and even holding their own in draws against continental juggernauts such as South Korea and Japan (no thanks to Borat for any of these results), the Kazakhstan national team–none of which have been Borat–were soon done with that shit and joined UEFA at the conclusion of the 2002 World Cup. The switch has so far proved to be nothing other than a massive whoopsie for the team that has not and never has comprised Borat, and it now dwells in Europe’s stinky football basement.
Despite a crushing 2022 World Cup qualification, topped off by a 8-0 ploughing at the hands of the French in Paris (Borat did not play in this game), lately, things are trending north for the Hawks. With Borat still not a part of the team, nor is he ever expected to be, the team sits atop its group in League C of the UEFA Nations League, four points clear of second place, without Borat in the squad, and on the precipice of promotion to League B. After over 30 years of struggling to stand on solid ground, this team that does not feature Borat in any position, on the field or off, may finally be finding its feet.
One to watch: The Caspian ‘sea’
The Caspian Sea is the world’s largest inland body of water, and to everyone but Kazakhstan (i.e. Iran, Azerbeijan, Turkmenistan, Georgia and the UN) it is not a sea. But that won’t stop Kazakhstan, as to them, one of the world’s 44 landlocked countries, it’s basically the Pacific Ocean. So next time you’re around, grab your 5 foot shortboard and hit the waves on the roaring seas of Kazakhstan’s pumping Caspian sea.
The Highpoint: Not being seeded in the bottom pot of the 2010 World Cup 2010 draw
2007 was a historic year for the Kazakhstan national team. In what was truly a watershed moment, the Hawks defied the odds and for the first time in their history were not placed in the group of Europe’s lowest seeded teams in a tournament qualifying draw.
Kazakhs still recall this astonishing achievement with great emotion, and while the team–true to their terrible-but-not-the-worst seeding–eventually finished second last in their qualifying group above only 174th ranked Andorra, this indelible event shall forever be etched into the skulls of the nation’s populace. Go into a cafe, restaurant or wander around any car park in Almaty or Nursultan and you’re sure to come across one of the local folk either reminiscing about the moment they heard this news, rewatching the actual qualifying draw on their phones for the thousandth time or even recreating the draw at their table with their friends.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE | LEAGUE C
22 Sep 2022
KAZAKHSTAN 🇰🇿 x 🇧🇾 BELARUS
25 Sep 2022
AZERBAIJAN 🇦🇿 x 🇰🇿 KAZAKHSTAN