***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 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 Mali, who’ve qualified for the African Cup of Nations twelve times but are yet to qualify for the World Cup.
You can’t spell ‘eliminated’ without m-a-l-i
Nickname: The Eagles
FIFA Ranking: 53 (Dec 2021)
There’s no ‘i’ in ‘team’ but there is a m-a-l-i in ‘eliminated from World Cup qualification’. Despite their success on the continental and junior level, Mali’s eagles are Africa’s highest ranked side yet to qualify for a World Cup. In the African Cup of Nations, they’ve been runners up, finished 3rd twice and fourth three times, while at the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup, a tournament that featured future stars such as Ronaldinho, and Spain’s Xavi Hernandez and Iker Casillas, Mali’s eagles took home the bronze by defeating Uruguay in the third place playoff with future Barcelona star midfielder taking home the Golden Ball for the tournament. But yeah nah, if you were banking on that taking them anywhere within touching distance of World Cup participation, think again buddy, as the side has so far failed to qualify in all its five attempts.
One to watch: 24:11-26:42 of Uganda vs Mali in 2022 World Cup Qualifying, September 6, 2021
The World Cup qualifier between Uganda and Mali was rubbish. But in one of the greatest moments of the first round of African qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, in the 2nd minute, some guy decided to stand directly in front of the main camera, blocking the view as the match was being broadcast on live TV. Apparently with some clear opposition to either the match being telecast or the type of camera being used, homeboy first made a gesture of protest directly to the camera before then being determined to block the view with the back of his head. After refusing to move out of the way, he then took matters into his own hands, fingering the lens away, rotating it 180° and savvily redirecting the camera view completely in the opposition direction to where the pitch was. Eventually he found another place to sit, but not before putting on quality show for over 2 minutes. Did he have a political agenda? Was he making a statement about the spate of indiscriminate machete attacks in Uganda at the time? Did he just really want that spot directly in front of the camera? Who knows and who cares because what a moment in World Cup history it was. Classic!
The Highpoint: Qualification to the final playoff round for Qlamqtar 2022
After topping a group with Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, Mali are on the verge of qualifying for their first ever World Cup. Take it easy though, because they’re also on the brink of blowing it again too. Which one will it be? Well, just wait till March 21-29 and all your Mali-related fears shall be allayed.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS CAMEROON 2021
Wed, Jan 12, 2022
TUNISIA 🇹🇳 x 🇲🇱 MALI
Sun, Jan 16, 2022
GAMBIA 🇬🇲 x 🇲🇱 MALI
Thu, Jan 20, 2022
MALI 🇲🇱 x 🇲🇷 MAURITANIA
FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING QLAMQTAR 2022
March 21-29, 2022