***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 3 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 El Salvador, which has qualified for two World Cups, in 1970 and 1982.
“We’d play better but we don’t want to anger the opposition”
Nickname: La Selecta
FIFA Ranking: 71 (June 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from Final Round qualifying (CONCACAF), finishing 7th (of 8 teams)
One of only 11 nations in CONCACAF to have reached the World Cup, El Salvador would try harder but it doesn’t want to, for fear of angering the opposition. First employing this tactic in the 1982 World Cup against Hungary, its ‘don’t poke the bear’ approach has so far worked, in that ever since, it hasn’t been thrashed as badly as it was that day against the Hungarians in Elche, Spain. That said, critics of the team’s tactics have condemned the approach as many believe El Salvador’s controversial gameplan of placation has hampered its attempts to get back to the world’s biggest stage.
Finishing last at both World Cups its taken part in, no one does placation like El Salvador and no one does self-destruction like El Salvador. First, after qualifying for their first ever World Cup in 1970, they got flattened in Mexico by Belgium, the host nation and USSR, conceding a total of 9 goals without even scoring one of their own. After qualifying for a second time, this time for the 1982 World Cup, the nation was hopeful of an improved performance in Spain, yet La Selecta, true to character, imploded yet again.
Amid a brutal civil war at home, the Salvadoran 1982 World Cup campaign started horribly and only got worse from there. First, in order to cut costs, the team decided to leave two of its squad at home at the last moment, travelling to the tournament with only 20 players, two fewer than the FIFA approved specification. While its squad lacked numbers, its entourage had no such problem, with the Football Federation taking an inordinate amount of friends and family with them to Europe. No doubt the journey was an entertaining one, with plenty of family singalongs on the flight, but the lateness of the team’s arriving was far from a rollicking old time.
El Salvador was the last team to get to Spain, arriving just three days before their opening match. Then, an entire set of one its four playing kits went missing, as did the balls they were supposed to train with, all of which were allegedly the the workings of its unscrupulous team officials. Thankfully, the team did manage to borrow a bunch of balls from its opponents in its tournament opener, Hungary. However, all of the disruptions, and also that some of the balls they borrowed had scuff marks on them when they gave them back, left Hungary super pissed off and with little choice but to put ten goals past the Salvadorans. The solitary goal El Salvador scored in the match, making the score 5-1, did nothing but infuriate them further, something El Salvador’s fans anticipated but its players didn’t, as they then shipped five more goals to the Hungarians thereafter.
El Salvador would self-destruct flawlessly in their next two matches too. They failed to score against Belgium and Argentina and were eliminated, but that initial match against Hungary taught them a lesson they’ll never forget–Scoring goals makes the opposition angry. It’s a mistake they’ve kept in mind ever since, having not got back to the World Cup ever since. And much like their adherence to the ‘Don’t poke the bear’ tactic, El Salvador’s consistency in unrivalled self-destruction has continued much the same ever since, marked by a 2013 match-fixing scandal that lead to the life bans of 14 national team players, constant disappointments and failures to get past the quarter-finals at the CONCACAF Gold Cup ever since achieving its best finish a year prior to the Spain debacle in 1981 (runners-up), and even a loss at the most recent edition in 2021 to a team that isn’t even in its confederation–Qatar.
One to watch: How easy it is–if you’re a woman impregnated through rape or incest–to pay for backstreet abortion/ DIY termination equipment/homicide defence legal costs/consequent funeral arrangements
In September 2021, the nation of El Salvador has become the first in the world to officially adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. The groundbreaking move now makes it possible for women who were victims of rape or incest to use the fledgling cryptocurrency to pay for backstreet illegal abortions, DIY home abortion equipment, funeral arrangements for themselves in the event of fatal haemorrhaging from notoriously dangerous makeshift abortion procedures, or the legal costs associated with being charged with aggravated homicide following miscarriage.
Wow, #sowoke, El Salvador!
All businesses and freelancers in El Salvador are now required to accept Bitcoin as an approved method of payment. And although some have expressed their reservations and lack of understanding of how the digital currency actually works, it should benefit all Salvadorans, from industrious business people to 10 year old girls who were raped by a member of their family and now have the option to pay for perilous illegal abortion procedures or the legal costs connected to prosecution and likely jail time if they miscarriage.
But on the plus side, the official Bitcoin wallet endorsed by the government is known as Chivo, meaning ‘cool’, so if nothing else, at least you’ll feel cutting edge as you strut on down to the basement under Jose’s house to get your possibly fatal backstreet abortion.
You go, El Salvador! You hit this one right out of the park!
The Highpoint: The piece of pine given to the Hungarian captain in the pre-game exchange of gifts
Coming into their curtain-raiser against Hungary at the 1982 World Cup, El Salvador’s preparation was in such disarray that they didn’t even have a commemorative banner to present the Hungarian team with in the pre-game exchange of gifts between captains. Well, that’s not entirely true–they did have something. Goalkeeper Luis Guevara Mora, digging deep and using his ingenuity found a piece of pine lying about, and using a knife engraved the words ‘El Salvador’ into it. Done! You’re welcome, Hungary!
Close-up footage or photographs of the piece of pine are tough to find, but pretty sure it looked something like this:
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
24 September 2022
HONDURAS 🇭🇳 x 🇸🇻 EL SALVADOR
CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE
24 March 2022
UNITED STATES 🇺🇸 x 🇸🇻 EL SALVADOR