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All Things Footie | Monday, June 16 | Jordan

The search

I know, it’s been a while, but I can assure you I’ve been busy. All this groundless, random, rubbish masquerading as transfer speculation is boring the hell out of me too, so I’m sticking with the international perspective. As you may have read in my previous post, I’ve given up on England. I actually found myself willing Slovakia on in the dying moments last week. Michael Owen man of the match? He missed 3 sitters in the first half, executed a marvellous dive for the England penalty and managed to head a ball, well done son. Phil Neville in an anchoring role. Protecting the defence. At home. To Slovakia. I’ve had enough of this ‘it’s the result that counts’ crap, England have players good enough to have a go at playing football. Which is why I’m moving on.

Now I’ve rejected the three lions (well the little St. George’s cross that’s replaced them so the FA can claim copyright) I decided I need a new footballing nationality, and so the search began. I didn’t want to be accused of glory hunting so I headed for the opposite end of the spectrum; I wanted an antidote to the dull, robotic, passion free fairground that is the English national set-up. A team that are passionate, enthusiastic; a team who enjoy themselves and treat, for instance, being the captain of your country with pride, honour and respect.

I thought the fairest way to find my new nationality was to head over to the bottom of the FIFA rankings and work my way up until I found my ideal team, on the condition that I didn’t reject anyone on the basis they were crap. It wasn’t as easy a task as I’d expected, I expected to get this up last week but my search took me longer than I expected. For those of you only interested in my choice scroll away, for those of you interested in finding out a little about some of the smaller nations in World football, then read on.

Propping up the table in 204th place is the Caribbean island of Montserrat. Their lack of a website means that it’s going to be difficult to find out anything about the team, and the devastating natural disasters they’ve suffered in recent years probably doesn’t put football high on the national agenda. Probably best give them a miss.

Next in line are more Caribbean islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands. With more than twice the ranking points of Montserrat, they look promising, so I drop by their website. I’m immediately put off by their plea for overseas players - what’s wrong with the islanders? On top of that, the site’s a bit on the flashy side, and I can’t think of many chants that ‘Turks and Caicos’ could be incorporated in to. Oh well, lets move on.

So along comes American Samoa. I do like their website, particularly this rather beautiful sunset over Samoa, the friendly words, and the fact that they call the beautiful game football not ‘soccer’. Good lads. Unfortunately though, there’re no sign of any team information on the site and the calendar looks rather blank.

Next in line is Guam, which instantly becomes a non-starter when I find they too have no web presence - even FIFA have next to no information about them. Shame. I could think of some good chants….

I was surprised to find Puerto Rico this far down the list; still it’d be a nice place to go for the home games. Immediate problems though in that not only is their website dead as a dodo, but they’ve been blacklisted by FIFA. All financial support to Puerto Rico, Somalia and Burundi has been suspended, as they can’t account for what they’ve been spending it on. Oh dear, another no-no.

Next in line is Afghanistan, which for fear of football turning in to politics I’m going to avoid.

The US Virgin Islands suffer that now all too familiar problem of not having a squad listing on their website, and Anguilla, Djibouti and Bhutan are all siteless. I don’t even know where Djibouti is.

Then along come the fancy dans from Aruba, with their flash site and bouncing balls. Can’t make out a word of any of it I’m afraid, so it’s adios Aruba. This search is beginning to become tiresome, maybe I should just settle for Sven’s boys after all.

I’m cheered up by the intriguingly named São Tomé e Príncipe. I’m further intrigued by the fact that they’ve been FIFA members since 1986, yet I’ve never heard of them at all and I have no idea where the island (if indeed it is an island) is situated. A bit of further investigation reveals São Tomé e Príncipe to be a small Portuguese speaking island just off the West coast of central Africa and from these photos it looks like the kind of place I’d like to visit. The best information I can find about the island comes from the CIA website and a guy who went over there in 1981 to conduct the first ever STP population census. (he also has a website.) Interesting little place, I feel like I’ve learnt something, but I don’t think football is high on the country’s priority list.

Now here’s a very different nation. In 192nd place is Brunei Darussalam, home of the famous Sultan, Brunei Shell Petroleum and a sickly yellow and black website. No info on the football team unfortunately, and something tells me no-one there’s gives much of a damn.

Next up is Somalia, another country ravaged by disaster, and like Puerto Rico, in trouble with FIFA. They’re off my shortlist for new teams, but the chairman of the Somalian FA (a Mr Farah Addo) instantly ears my respect for doing what so many other FA Chairmen have been too spineless too. He’s landed himself a $10,000 fine (plus $14,000 court charges) for daring to accuse Sepp Blatter — the most corrupt man alive™ — of using ‘irregular financial practices’. [related article] Sepp has got his revenge though, suspending the Financial Assistance Program’s (FAP) payments to the Somali FA indefinitely. Although (according to FIFA) an audit (ordered by FIFA after Mr Addo made these accusations) found that the Somali FA couldn’t account for 84% of its funds from the FAP. It all smacks a little of ‘don’t f*ck with us or we’ll f*ck with you’. Enough politics anyway, lets move on.

Ahh, Equatorial Guinea. Sounds hot. They’ve got the best acronym for their FA, FEGUIFUT (Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol), but no website or information about their operation. Shame.

Now this is more like it, the Bahamas lie in 189th place and I’m holding out my hopes here. Bingo! Their FA have a well maintained website, with history, local team news, squads, the lot. The only downside is that they’re officially affiliated with Southampton FC. No matter, I can work around that.

Bahamas FA logo

So that’s that then, I am now officially a supporter of the Bahamas national team - hell, I might even pick up a club side too. Bears FC and United FC are clearly head and shoulders above the competition, but in the spirit of my search* I shall pledge allegiance to CCMS Kickers FC. How often I’ll be able to make the pilgrimage to CCMS I don’t know — not as often as I would like I’m sure — but I will give them all the support I can.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, there’s no time for complacency though; with two Olympic qualifying games in September against a tough Trinidad & Tobago side, Bahamas coach Stephen Bellot has got his work cut out. Over the next couple of weeks you can expect all things footie to bring you all the latest BFA news and info. Well, it’s either that or discussing the David Beckham rumour for the best part of two months.

* For the pedants. The Bahamas currently lie 189th of 204 teams in the FIFA World Ranking (or 92·6% of the way down the list). There are two divisions in the Bahamas football league, each with seven teams, thus ‘in the spirit of my search’ I should pick the team 92·6% of the way down the list, 0·926 × 14 = 13 (nearest whole number). The (lucky?) thirteenth team is CCMS Kickers FC. Simple as that.

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10 Previous Articles

  1. I give up
  2. Just 11 weeks to go
  3. Every Dog Has Its Day
  4. Best of 2002–3
  5. Writer’s block
  6. They think it’s all over
  7. The fat lady sings
  8. Roll on May 17
  9. Racist, moi?
  10. Like a puff of smoke?