***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’s 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 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 Palestine, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
An almighty team that shall never be defeated OR something that doesn’t exist (depends who you ask)
Nickname: The Lions of Canaan
FIFA Ranking: 98 (Nov 2021)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to qualify
Depending on who you ask, the Palestinian national team has become a relatively successful footballing nation/non entity, having successfully qualifying for two/no Asian Cups and achieved a FIFA ranking as high as 73/never played a match and will never. And despite not having made it to a World Cup finals/never made it a World Cup finals, the team’s results have belied its people’s struggles and the political and logistical hurdles it is constantly forced to overcome/it is fundamentally impossible for a non-entity to have any struggles.
If you’re wondering when you’re going to see Palestine at a World Cup, how does never sound? Never seems like the likely option. Due to Israel hindering the team’s travel by consistently denying them exit visas, and Israel’s awareness of the legitimacy and recognition a World Cup finals would give Palestine, matches involving the Palestinian national team are often suspended or cancelled, as its players are refused exit from the country to play scheduled matches abroad. And that’s just for matches when the team’s just in the hunt for qualification. If the Lions of Canaan ever defy the odds, overcome their countless hurdles and have such a successful qualifying campaign where one more win would grant them a World Cup berth, expect a sudden, even more severe government crackdown on Palestinian travel, in and out of the country. But the clampdown won’t be soccer reasons, it’ll be just for, you know, security.
Though a World Cup finals appearance is not quite as unlikely as the Prophet Muhammad returning, there’s actually more chance of Chilean league side CD Palestino reaching the event instead. So there’s no need to wait till al-Qiyāmah (The Day of Reckoning) to see Palestine at a World Cup, because all you need is be patient until FIFA further expand the tournament’s format, to a point where so many teams are allowed that even league sides can take part. Then it’ll be Yalla Palestine! Well, Yalla Palestino, to be more precise.
One to watch: Every player is a goal threat/security threat
Depending on who you ask, the Palestinian national soccer team is a dangerous, well-drilled unit full of goal threats, capable of doing some real damage in the box by exploiting their abilities to get on the end of long counter attacks or a dangerous, well-drilled unit full of security threats, capable of doing some real damage in Israel by virtue of being members of terrorist cells or by exploiting their “sporting activities” visas to courier money, phones and communications between previously convicted (but released and deported) Hamas terrorists in Qatar and the West Bank. Depends who you ask though.
The highpoint: 2018 World Cup qualifying/Anytime its allowed across the border to play
Palestine’s most successful World Cup campaign came in the 2018 edition when it finished third in its group, with four wins, but just one more win short of advancing to the final round.
It’s a miracle they actually got that far anyway, as anytime the Israeli authorities let its players across the borders and not deny their travel request citing security concerns is a win in itself!
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
Depending on who you ask, this Palestinian spice shop owner (above) either exists or doesn’t
FIFA ARAB CUP QATAR 2021
JORDAN 🇯🇴 x 🇵🇸 PALESTINE