Following on from Anguilla’s descent a couple of months ago, we once again welcome the arrival of a Caribbean nation to the Worst in the World, with Bahamas joining their near neighbours in this ignominious club. They have sunk to the foot of the FIFA rankings in the latest release.
Bahamas last remaining ranking points, dated back to the World Cup qualifiers for the 2014 tournament when the Bahamas beat the Turks and Caicos Islands 4-0 and 6-0 in their two preliminary round matches. The last of those was played in July 2011, and so the ranking points gained then have now lapsed.
Having won through to the first round proper on that occasion, Bahamas subsequently withdrew due to problems with the construction of their new national stadium. The 23,000 capacity Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, which was a gift from the People’s Republic of China to the Bahamas, had been completed in time, but work in the surrounding areas hadn’t. Approach roads, car parks and apparently sewerage, were still in need of completion, and were the official reason why the Bahams withdrew from a qualifying group containing Panama, Nicaragua and Dominica. The withdrawal came just a couple of weeks ahead of their first scheduled fixture in Panama.
The alternative option of playing their home matches at neutral venues was explored but it was decided that the cost would have been too prohibitive.
National team coach at the time, Kevin Davies, expressed the disappointment of all involved. “Knowing that we put all the work in to prepare and train [the withdrawal] was a little crushing. Obviously the team, having learned what happened, was very disappointed as well. They somehow feel a little let down and that is expected. We all feel down about the news.”
At the time, Davies went on to express his confidence that the Bahamas national team would continue to reach the level they did in those qualifiers.
“Absolutely we have the talent to do that, so getting back to this level again I don’t think is impossible or out the window. The chances are great. At this present time we were good enough to make some noise in this round, in terms of beating some quality opponents…I think our chances of getting back here is great but unfortunately we will have to wait another four years for it.”
His optimism would prove to be sadly misplaced. Shunning any Caribbean Cup action in the meantime, it was indeed four more years until the Bahamas played again. In the recent preliminary round qualifiers for Russia 2018, Bahamas played home and away against Bermuda, suffering a 5-0 defeat at home, in their nice new stadium in Nassau of course, before losing 3-0 in Hamilton. That was the end of that, and the result is that the Bahamas have rejoined the ranks of the worst in the world.
It is their second stint at the foot of the rankings having spent three months in world football’s basement in the early days of the rankings in late 1993. They played no matches as the official worst in the world at that time, though they have featured as the opposition for other worst teams on a few occasions in the years since.
They beat fellow current Worst in the World side Anguilla 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier in March 2000 and also had a narrow win over the Turks and Caicos Islands during their spell in the world football basement in 2006.
They join Anguilla at the foot of the rankings and with no fixtures scheduled for either team at present, they both look set to remain at the bottom for the foreseeable future. For their part, Anguilla have now recorded their 53rd month as worst in the world – not consecutively I hasten to add – and move to joint 4th on the overall rankings, moving level with Guam. They will climb ahead to 4th on their own next month though third placed San Marino are some distance ahead, having lodged 77 months at the bottom.