***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 8 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 Lesotho, who are yet to qualify for a World Cup.
The highest of the lows
Nickname: Likuena (Crocodiles)
FIFA Ranking: 145 (Mar 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Eliminated by Ethiopia (1:1 agg, lost on away goals) in first round (CAF)
The nation of Lesotho has the highest lowest point of any country in the world. Remarkably, it is the only independent state in the world that is situated entirely above 1000m above sea level, and with the nation’s lowest point, at the junction of Makhaleng and Orange (Senqu) river, resting at a a dizzying 1400m,this makes it the highest of the lows, much likes its national soccer team.
The Lesotho national soccer team has never qualified for a FIFA World Cup or an African Cup of Nations, but despite these failures, it still maintains its status among the best of the worst. Recently it has been one of the most consistent performers, not at the African Cup of Nations, but you know, the COSAFA Cup, the regional tournamenf for southern African teams, and it also has qualified for the African Cup of Nations, well not the final tournament but it was one of 5 teams to progress from the preliminary round after beating Seychelles.
While it may never scale the heights reached by African soccer’s elite national teams like Nigeria, Cameroon or Senegal, Likuena show no signs of relinquishing their mantle of one of the premier national sides in Africa (out of all the duds).
One to watch: South Africa
Aside from San Marino and Vatican City, Lesotho is the only enclave in the world, a country which is entirely surrounded by a single nation. So if you suffer from claustrophobia, or paranoia or just hate the feeling of an entire sovereign state cramping your style and constantly being all around you, Lesotho may not be the place for you.
The Highpoint: Lesotho’s win over Kenya in the 2015 AFCON FINAL (stage of the first round of qualifying)
Despite not qualifying for the final tournament Likuena, managed a sensational victory over traditional African strugglers Liberia in the preliminary round of qualifying for the 2015 African Cup of Nations, and then backed it up with a MOMENTOUS scalp of another lackluster African minnow, Kenya. Defeating the Harambee Stars 1-0 on aggregate, Lesotho marched on triumphantly to the next round of qualifying (at which point they were then comprehensively slaughtered in almost every match. While their hopes of elevating themselves to the next stratosphere of African soccer were shattered by losses to Burkina Faso, Gabon and Angola, their reputation as being just ‘Ok, I guess’ remained well and truly intact.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS QUALIFYING | GROUP STAGE