***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS IN MY STREET 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 6 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 Mauritius, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Is it too late to refer a 1999 penalty decision to VAR?
Nickname: The Dodos
FIFA Ranking: 179 (Mar 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from first round of qualifying (CAF), losing 3-0 (agg) to Mozambique
It’s a good thing that the last 23 years haven’t been a total clusterfuck for the Mauritian national soccer team.
Thank god that Mauritius wasn’t built initially on a history of slavery that was then supplanted by an influx of indentured workers from India that would eventually lead to centuries-old simmering ethnic tensions boiling over in 1999 with rioting in the capital Port Louis following the brutal murder by police of iconic national hero and founder of Mauritian Seggae music, Kaya, while he was in custody following his arrest for smoking marijuana at a decriminalisation rally. What a lucky break it is that Mauritius didn’t develop with unsettled prejudices between Hindus, Muslims and Catholic Creoles, and institutionalised racism that historically favoured whites in positions of power and has recently favoured Hindu governing that has been accused of the persecution of Creoles. How fortunate it is that there aren’t deep-seeded tensions and endemic intractable unrest between the majority Hindu population, Creole Catholics and Muslims. And thank god that on Sunday May 23rd 1999, the Mauritius Football Association hadn’t scheduled a potentially explosive clash that ended up being the decisive match in the title race right at the end of the season, between the predominantly Muslim-supported Scouts Club and Fire Brigade, a club traditionally associated with Catholics and people of Creole ethnicity.
Mauritius can thanks its lucky stars that ethnic and religious tensions weren’t already at breaking point before the title deciding match in 1999. Luckily, in a spiteful encounter, the referee didn’t award a controversial penalty to Fire Brigade that was subsequently scored and proved to be the decisive title-winning goal. Thankfully, the result didn’t set off rioting between rival supporters that spilled onto the streets of Port Louis. Fortunately, the rioting by rival fans didn’t continue, further fuelled by recent events, cars in the local area weren’t destroyed, stores weren’t looted and sugar canes weren’t torched in rural areas. And it’s a good thing that the headquarters of the Mauritius Football Association and the Pope Hennessy Police Station weren’t vandalised. And wow, Mauritius can be so grateful that the rioting didn’t end up costing lives after Port Louis gambling house L’Amicale was engulfed in flames after molotov cocktails were thrown into the building that at the time had 275 people trapped inside. Luckily, seven people didn’t die in the blaze that ultimately would land four supporters of Scouts Club in prison for life (later reduced to 20 years). And it’s such a lucky thing that as a result it didn’t lead to the 18-month suspension of the national league, and spark a chain reaction of steady deterioration that the soccer in the country and the national team has never recovered from. And since then, what a relief that the national team hasn’t plummeted from #118 in the FIFA World Rankings in 1999 to low as #202 in 2012 and now mired all the way down at #179.
Oh no. Wait. Shit, all that did happen. Damn it. Fuck.
Um, any chance of getting a VAR review of that penalty in 1999?
One to watch: The dodo
The famed dodo was native to Mauritius and if recent advancements in the sequencing of animal genomes are anything to go by, we may one day see the resurrection of this obese clumsy mess. And I for one would love nothing more than pay a shit ton of cash to fly halfway round the world just to once again be able to see a bird that’s fat, slow, was slow to reproduce, too slow to evolve, has lost the ability to fly and its greatest redeeming traits and evolutionary assets were the strength of its pelvis and knee joints. Wow. Please! Sign me up.
The Highpoint: Anytime before that penalty (see above)
Sure, Mauritius did qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in 1974, have won the Indian Ocean Triangulaire Games 10 times and the Indian Ocean Games twice, but let’s be real here, just pick any time, at all, before that penalty was awarded in the deciding game of the 1998/99 championship between Scouts Club and Fire Brigade and you’ve got yourself a better situation in Mauritian soccer than now. Any moment, seriously, like, let’s say when Scouts Club scored the winner vs Sunrise Flacq United that same season (above) or even the moment below in the same game. Those’ll do. Seriously, any moment such as those, before that penalty, was bliss… Oh, the glory days, how we miss thee.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS 2023 IVORY COAST | QUALIFYING – GROUP STAGE
4 June 2022
GUINEA-BISSAU 🇬🇼 x 🇲🇺 MAURITIUS
13 June 2022
MAURITIUS 🇲🇺 x 🇳🇬 NIGERIA
19 Sep 2022
SIERRA LEONE 🇸🇱 x 🇲🇺 MAURITIUS