Football is a crazy game and there’s no real way of getting around that, but for some reason, there seems to be this idea that the main headline making stories in the sport always happen in Europe. Whilst it’d be fair to say, or outright admit, that the game is played best within the continent, that’s kind of where the comparisons begin and end for us.
Wacky and crazy things actually tend to happen more so outside of Europe in football, because different cultures do so many different things. It’s not often a bad thing, either, because it gets people talking about how we can continue to improve the beautiful game.
Now as we all know, the premier football tournament is the FIFA World Cup. The most recent edition of the World Cup, which was held in Russia, took place around a year ago now and was considered by many to be a resounding success. Of course, the next edition won’t take place until late 2022 in Qatar, but that doesn’t mean teams are going to have to wait long before starting the qualification process. In fact, for some, it’s already started.
An odd occurrence
A series of different nations have already started their road to Qatar, but despite what you may have initially thought, the path to glory isn’t always so smooth – even with a competition of this magnitude. As reported by BBC and The Macau Daily Times, a recent FA Cup match in Macau proved that theory.
Ka I defeated Hang Sai in the Taca de Macau by a scoreline of, wait for it, 21-18. No, this isn’t an American football or rugby game we’re talking about, this is good old fashioned soccer.
Players were given the chance to score unchallenged, and at one point, a goalkeeper was even allowed to stroll up the pitch and score. Alas, whilst it may seem more like a fix than anything else, it turns out that there was a purpose behind the madness.
Macau, who had led Sri Lanka following the first leg of a World Cup 2022 qualifier, were set to play the return leg last Tuesday. However, the Macau Football Association decided to withdraw the national team due to security concerns. Internal investigations are said to be underway, but even with that, Macau captain Nicholas Torrao decided to write to FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.
We the players are totally devastated with the cancellation of our second leg match against Sri Lanka, in their home ground due to the refusal of our Macau Football Association to travel,” he wrote. “Please allow a chance for the players to give their hearts for this beautiful game.”
It’s a pretty messy situation, but for the sake of the players themselves, we hope they get the opportunity to prove themselves. They obviously aren’t likely to make it all the way to the World Cup, but at the very least, they should be given the opportunity to try and get as far as they possibly can.