WCQ 2022: Qualifiers for Qatar's Questionable Quagmire

Titans Bastard

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The first WCQ draw of the cycle will take place at 11pm ET tonight, even though we still don't have confirmation of the actual size of the 2022 WC yet. FIFA is considering an even greedier plan to expand the WC to 48 — despite Qatar's lack of capacity to do so — by hosting games in some nearby countries.

Nonetheless, the first round of AFC qualifiers apparently won't be affected by the outcome of that question.

It will be a short WCQ campaign for the losers of the six home-and-away fixtures:

Pot A (seeded): Malaysia, Cambodia, Macau, Laos, Bhutan, Mongolia
Pot B (unseeded): Bangladesh, Guam, Brunei, Timor-Leste, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
 

coremiller

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It seems weird to me that large countries like Malaysia and Pakistan are mixed in at this stage with tiny countries like Guam and Brunei. Pakistan has a population of over 200 million people, why aren't they better?

What's the story on how the U.K.'s ex-colonies in South Asia became obsessed with cricket rather than soccer, while rugby became dominant in the Southern Hemisphere ex-colonies?
 

DrewDawg

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It seems weird to me that large countries like Malaysia and Pakistan are mixed in at this stage with tiny countries like Guam and Brunei. Pakistan has a population of over 200 million people, why aren't they better?
Are you asking this about Pakistan or the US? Cuz it’s the same question at different levels of the sport.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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It seems weird to me that large countries like Malaysia and Pakistan are mixed in at this stage with tiny US Territories and countries like Guam and Brunei. Pakistan has a population of over 200 million people, why aren't they better?

What's the story on how the U.K.'s ex-colonies in South Asia became obsessed with cricket rather than soccer, while rugby became dominant in the Southern Hemisphere ex-colonies?
FTFY
 

Titans Bastard

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It seems weird to me that large countries like Malaysia and Pakistan are mixed in at this stage with tiny countries like Guam and Brunei. Pakistan has a population of over 200 million people, why aren't they better?

What's the story on how the U.K.'s ex-colonies in South Asia became obsessed with cricket rather than soccer, while rugby became dominant in the Southern Hemisphere ex-colonies?
I'm not sure, but I don't think it's quite symmetrical: cricket isn't #1 but is still popular in places like Australia and South Africa, whereas rugby has little presence in South Asia. It's possible that it's as simple as the weather: playing rugby in the South Asian heat seems more than a little unpleasant.

One theory about the separate issue of cricket+rugby vs soccer that I've read is that because soccer was/is more of a lower-class sport, the upper-class colonial administrators didn't popularize it in the colonies to the extent that one might expect given soccer's popularity in England.
 

coremiller

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I'm not sure, but I don't think it's quite symmetrical: cricket isn't #1 but is still popular in places like Australia and South Africa, whereas rugby has little presence in South Asia. It's possible that it's as simple as the weather: playing rugby in the South Asian heat seems more than a little unpleasant.

One theory about the separate issue of cricket+rugby vs soccer that I've read is that because soccer was/is more of a lower-class sport, the upper-class colonial administrators didn't popularize it in the colonies to the extent that one might expect given soccer's popularity in England.
The class theory is something I was thinking about. I would be interested to read something about why the sports that the Brits introduced in their colonies differed from the sports Brits introduced in non-colonies, e.g. British expats introduced soccer in Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Italy, etc.
 

Ale Xander

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I need a rooting interest. Without turning into V&N, which nation listed above treats women and LGBTQ and ethnic minorities the best of them (least worst)?
 

67YAZ

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I need a rooting interest. Without turning into V&N, which nation listed above treats women and LGBTQ and ethnic minorities the best of them (least worst)?
Guam, I suppose.

As a US colony, I wasn’t aware that it had its own national team. Would be a helluva underdog story for them to progress.
 

Ale Xander

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Guam, I suppose.

As a US colony, I wasn’t aware that it had its own national team. Would be a helluva underdog story for them to progress.
Of course! Go Guam!

Guam has a new Aussie coaching staff and trained in CA, and scrimmaged against the San Diego State and LA Galaxy II teams. They are led by attacking midfielder Jason Ryan Quitugua Cunliffe who has 15 goals in 40 caps. He plays "domestically" for the Bank of Guam Strykers.

Guam, which has a territorial population of around 163,000, bested the national team of India, with an approximate population of 1.3 billion, during June, 2015, as part of the 2018 WC qualification.

Guam is currently ranked #193 in the world by FIFA (207 ELO) and was as high as #146 (shortly after the 2015 wins in qualifying)
 

DrewDawg

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Now move it back to summer and out of Qatar and we’re in business!
If they were going to move it they already would have, because that would have likely allowed them to go to 48 teams, which is what they wanted.
 

67YAZ

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FIFA to hold 2019 & 2020 Club World Cup in Qatar as dry run for 2022.

When asked if the question of human rights came up in the deliberations for this action, our compassionate CONCACAF President offered,

“Not today, not in the council meeting, but those issues are part of the ongoing discussion between the special administration which deals with this on a daily basis and obviously the local organising committee.”