2015 may not have been a year of many Worst in the World matches but it has seen a raft of changes to those struggling at the wrong end of the FIFA rankings. The year began with just Bhutan cut adrift from the other 208 members of FIFA as the lone, and therefore undisputed, worst national team in the world, with no ranking points and little hope. Continue reading →
In many ways it, of course, bore no relation to the real World Cup final of 2002 taking place in on the same day, but in others it had all the pageantry, atmosphere, and sense of occasion that befits a global football event. On that particular day the cities of Yokohama in Japan and Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan high up in the Himalayas, were linked by a footballing contest. While the pinnacle of the world’s game was being decided in Japan, the two countries ranked at the bottom of FIFA’s meritocracy played out the Other Final to decide who was the worst national team in the world.
An enterprising Dutch film crew, who turned their nation’s disappointment at failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup into an idea to look at those national teams rather more accustomed to losing than their own. This idea took them to the FIFA website and its world rankings, at the bottom of which sat Montserrat and Bhutan. Continue reading →
The latest FIFA rankings were published today with the confirmation that Anguilla’s sole remaining ranking points – two point left over from a 0-0 draw in a 2011 friendly match with the US Virgin Islands – have withered away to nothing. That last non-defeat now dating back more than four years it’s points no longer count towards Anguilla’s total, which now stands at a magnificent zero.
Of course this doesn’t make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. Anguilla were already ranked last thanks to Bhutan’s rise so this hasn’t made any difference in terms of their labelling as the current worst in the world. Continue reading →
The tiny island of Anguilla, a territory of the United Kingdom, may be one of the first listed FIFA members alphabetically, but once again they are now the last listed in the ranking meritocracy. Having been absent for almost four years Anguilla are once again firmly ensconced as the official worst team in the world after Bhutan’s rise last month.
This will be Anguilla’s eighth spell as the worst in the world and will see the tiny island territory add to its currently tally of 48 months ranked at the bottom of the world.
‘It means nothing to me,’ said the Polish-born national team coach Richard Orlowski to FIFA.com recently – while his team were one place ahead of Bhutan. ‘We’ve had some bad luck in the past, there’s no denying. But now we play in the present. So whoever says that Anguilla don’t have a chance, I say to them: “This is football and anything can happen.”’
Anguilla, at the northern edge of the Leeward Islands, is considered a paradise of tropical beauty and seductive calm even among the rich pickings of the Caribbean. ‘It may be a small island, but these guys have the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen,’ Orlowski added referring to his team of amateurs, who combine international football with careers as construction workers, bankers, teachers and boat builders. ‘They leave work early to train and some even risk getting less pay. I feel so much pride when I see them come out on the pitch, how much they juggle in their lives.’ Continue reading →
After their successful World Cup qualification matches against Sri Lanka, with wins both home and away, Bhutan’s rise from the foot of the world rankings has been confirmed in the latest FIFA rankings.
The fact that their results came in World Cup competition and against a significantly higher ranked opponent has led to Bhutan earning a whopping 128 rankings points for their exploits. From a stone-cold zero beforehand they can no wallow in the untold riches of such a total. It has seen them rise from 209th position to a frankly startling 163rd on FIFA’s world rankings.
This is simply the most stunning rise from the doldrums that the Worst in the World has ever seen. Continue reading →
Tuesday 17th March 2015
World Cup Asian Zone Round One Second Leg
Changlimithang Stadium, Thimphu, Bhutan
Bhutan 2-1 Sri Lanka (3-1 aggregate)
Oh my word. It doesn’t rain, it pours. Bhutan’s World Cup record now stands at a magnificent two wins out of two matches played all-time, still a 100% record. Two goals from defender Chencho Gyeltshen, the second of which came as the match reached stoppage time in a dramatic conclusion, has seen Bhutan knock Sri Lanka out of the World Cup and qualify for the first group stage of Asian qualifying. There they will come up against four other teams, with their seeded opponent potentially being one of Asia’s real powers: Japan, Australia, South Korea or Iran. I’m giddy at the prospect. Continue reading →
Tuesday 17th March 2015 World Cup Asian Zone Round One Second Leg
Changlimithang Stadium, Thimpu, Bhutan
After their seismic and historic victory in the first leg last Thursday, Bhutan’s soon-to-be no longer worst in the world national team take on Sri Lanka again in the second leg for a place in the first group stage of Asian World Cup qualifying. They bring a 1-0 lead with them from the away leg in Colombo and will be defending a couple of 100% records in the return match.
Bhutan, having never played in the World Cup before last week, have won all (just the one) of their World Cup matches in history – the only country in the world who can claim that! They do also have a 100% record at their home ground in Thimpu in official international fixtures having won all three of their previous FIFA sanctioned home matches.