World Cup Failures Leave Millions Waiting For 2022
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World Cup Failures Leave Millions Waiting For 2022

Italy, Ghana, the USA, Ireland and Holland headline the group of nations failing to qualify for the World Cup this Season.

World Cup Failures Leave Millions Waiting For 2022

The build up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been nothing short of dramatic. Qualification proceedings have left many skilled players and strong teams on the outside looking in this June. A number of surprises have also found their way into the Finals at the expense of many historic contenders. Here is a look at the some of the biggest disappointments and most shocking successes

Part 1

Notable surprises who failed to qualify include:

The United States of America

The United States failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals for the first time in thirty years. Though the team made an impressive run in 2014 narrowly losing to Belgium in the round of 16. The United States had been improving significantly but struggled during the early stages of qualification which prompted them to fire Jurgen Klinsmann and hire Bruce Arena again. Inconsistencies in the lineup, poor leadership and overall lack of desire or talent saw the United States bow out of World Cup contention with a whimper in an uninspiring 2-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago. US Soccer Federation has a lot to fix over the next four years to prepare to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. CONCACAF is designed for the USA and Mexico to qualify but the US made a complete mess of it and will be sitting at home this June. American interest in the World Cup will drop significantly without the presence of the US Men’s National Team and US soccer will lose another generation of talented kids who will not be able to look to any American soccer star for inspiration this summer.

The Netherlands

Arjen Robben Disappointed

Holland continued their stretch of poor play by failing to qualify for the World Cup. After missing out on the UEFA Euro 2016 championship, the Dutch were bested on goal differential by Sweden who secured their second place spot in Group A behind France in UEFA European Qualification. Sweden and the Netherlands both finished level on 19 points but the Swedes had a +17 goal differential to the Netherlands +9. It is a harsh way to go out for the Orange faithful who have not seen their country play in a major tournament since the last World Cup in 2014. Holland is a nation that houses a wealth of talented young players and experienced veterans who will all have the summer off in 2018.


Ghana export incredibly talented players to many of the World’s top leagues. They have been a mainstay in the last few World Cups even reaching the round of 16. Ghana was denied entry to the World Cup in perhaps the most controversial in this tournament’s qualification process. In a game against Uganda, the Black Stars of Ghana scored in the 94th minute but the score was denied in a ridiculous offsides call made by the Assistant Referee. Ghana have tried to appeal the decision and investigations of match-fixing are underway but as it currently stands Ghana will not be making their rightfully earned trip to Russia.


In another disappointing result, the Azzurri of Italy failed to score at home in Milan to beat Sweden and punch their ticket to Russia. Italy had not missed a tournament in 60 years and their game against Sweden proved to be the end of an era as goalkeeper GianLuigi Buffon played his final game for Italy and missed out on his record-breaking sixth World Cup along with fellow legends Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Barzagli who were the last remaining players from Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning squad. Defender Giorgio Chiellini also said his final goodbye to the Azzuri faithful. Italy finished second to Spain in Euro Group G and drew Sweden who scored one goal in the first leg and denied the Italian onslaught in the second. Italy saw the end of the 20 year Buffon era and coach Gian Piero Ventura was forced to resign after questionable decision-making and poor coaching ability enraged Italian fans who were frustrated by Ventura’s reluctance to call upon Lorenzo Insigne who was widely regarded as Italy’s most gifted attacker. Instead, Ventura started Southampton forward who has scored just 7 goals in two seasons as a striker. Italy is perhaps the most surprising omissions from the Finals.


Vidal and Sanchez upset after their eliminations

Chile was bested by Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia in the CONMEBOL round robin tournament. Peru qualified for the intercontinental playoffs and it is possible they do not advance to the Finals. Chile were finalists in the 2015 Confederations Cup in Russia last summer which is the practice round for the World Cup. Chile is the most recent champions from South America, which brought them their Confederations Cup spot but could not bring them to Russia in 2018. It was a disappointing result for the very talented Chile team and talented players like Arturo Vidal, Claudio Bravo and Alexis Sanchez will not be putting their talents on display in the Finals. Controversy arose following the tournament when the outraged wife of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo claimed that some of the players needed to stop drinking so much and suggested that some of them played their final game hungover. Better luck next time Chile.


Cameroon found themselves third in their group after establishing themselves as mainstays in the tournament for the last few years. They finished behind Nigeria and Zambia, ahead of the usually talented Nigeria in the cutthroat African Qualifying. Cameroon has produced some notably talented players like Samuel Eto’o and Joel Matip yet they only one a single game in qualifying.


Amid the horrific turmoil in Syria, the Syrian National team made up of talented individuals with everything to lose, were knocked out of the tournament by Australia so that Australia could reach the intercontinental playoff round. The Aussies outclassed a Syrian side playing for the lives of their families and their own. President Bashar al-Assad has declared mandatory international duty for Syrian nationals who have been called to report for international duty. Players who have defected from Syria learn that the government has abducted and imprisoned their loved ones in order to force them to play. They knew poor results could mean life or death for them and their loved ones. The pressure was on for Syria and they put together a historic run that nearly saw them qualify for the World Cup for the first time ever. Sadly, al-Assad’s compulsion was not enough to carry the small nation who is missing some of its top talents because of defection from the crumbling Syrian state.

The Republic of Ireland

The boys in green failed to advance past Denmark in the Qualification playoff in Europe. After a 0-0 draw in Denmark, Ireland simply fell apart in Dublin to the tune of 5-1 and a hat-trick for Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen breaking the hearts of the Irish faithful. Ireland finished 2nd in UEFA qualifying Group D to surprise winners Serbia. Ireland had to fight off skilled teams such as Wales and Austria to earn their place in the playoff but failed to defend well when it mattered most. Ireland’s exciting lineup and hardworking, fast style will be missing from Russia in June and July. Glenn Whelan, Seamus Coleman, Wes Hoolahan, John O’Shea, Aidan McGeady and Shane Duffy will have to watch at home unfortunately while neither Ireland nor Northern Ireland was able to qualify from the UEFA playoff round.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of the surprising teams who failed to qualify for the tournament. A recent upward trend for the Bosnians over the last few years has shown them to be a force in Europe. Talents like Miralem Pjanic, Senad Lulic, Edin Dzeko and Sead Kolasinac were only able to manage a third place finish behind Belgium and Greece in Group H. A bad loss to Cyprus was the difference between making the UEFA playoff over Greece so the Bosnians missed out on a golden opportunity to make their mark in 2018.

Honorable Mentions:

Scotland, Wales, Austria, Honduras, Peru*, Algeria, New Zealand*

With none of these major teams in the tournament, the quality of play will surely suffer but it gives an opportunity to some lesser-known footballing nations to show their stuff on the world stage.

*Still have the opportunity to qualify through Inter-continental playoff

Peru 0-0 (Aggr.) New Zealand after 1st leg

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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