5 Teams That Have Never Made the World Cup
With the 2018 Russian World Cup only months away, football fans are anxious to witness the greatest footballing nations battling it out for top honors. The tournament that is to be played this summer includes a few noticeable absentees such as Holland and Italy. But what about the teams that never made it to a World Cup tournament?
Syrian football will largely be unknown to the vast majority of fans around the world. But in 2018 it looked like “Qasioun Eagles” were ready to turn their fortunes around. Syria played Australia for a ticket to the intercontinental play-off stage for the World Cup. It was a nail-biting game, but Tim Cahill’s goal in injury time sent Australia through. Syria will have to wait four more years for a chance to qualify, but the team has shown considerable growth in this campaign.
Another team to have never qualified, Malaysia routinely has the task of overcoming stern opposition from strong Asian national teams. Japan, South Korea and China are all potential rivals for a spot in the World Cup. This time around, Malaysia finished fourth in a qualifying group that was won by Saudi Arabia. With four years for another chance at qualification, the Footballing Federation has to go back to the drawing board.
Another Asian nation forced to watch the World Cup from afar is Thailand. Their national team enjoyed a good start to their most recent campaign, winning a group that also featured Iraq and Vietnam. The team then qualified for the second part of their qualification journey, in a group that included more internationally experienced teams such as Australia and Japan. Thailand finished bottom of the group and a new opportunity to qualify for the World Cup passed the team by.
Taking part in World Cup qualification in a region that includes football heavyweights such as Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay has never made life easy for Venezuela. Despite a long lasting love of football, the South American team has also never qualified to a World Cup tournament. Their latest campaign saw them finishing bottom of the South American group, but many of their opponents were met with stern opposition by Venezuela. It leaves the nation hoping for a historic qualification in one of the future tournaments.
Fiji’s participation on the world football stage, may sound like a novelty to many football fans, but the national team has looked to improve. There is, however, a need for considerable growth if the World Cup dream of the nation is to become a reality. Their most recent foray into international football has seen them finish behind the Solomon Islands in their qualifying group. The team’s best record is finishing third in the Oceania Nations Cup. For the time being, the country will have to live with the hope that Fiji will one day participate at top level, in the World Cup.