We won our match handily over The Sultanate of Brunei as Jeff previously mentioned (17-2 was such a ridiculously one-sided score it wasn't even funny) and we edged Andorra 2-0 (both Jeff and Clark snagging a goal each, superb strikers that they are) ...
... but that's where the glory ended.
We were called on a technicality and ousted from competition. Our records were erased, we were unceremoniously ejected from the field and our accomplishments stricken from the record books.
It wasn't because our pre-game training methods were illegal or underhanded in any way ...
In no way did the use of
"Wonder Sauna (Short) Hot Pants"
violate any drug rules set in place by FIFA
nor did it give us an unfair advantage in World Cup competition.
(They did look fabulous during our training regimens, however.)
It wasn't because Clark is a sports reporter in The States. (Rumors flew he harbored "an unfair advantage" with a head full of knowledge and names and numbers, a poor excuse to try and shunt us from public adoration, let me tell you.)
And it certainly wasn't because Jeff's passport wasn't in order. (It wasn't. Not by a long shot. But we worked it out without breaking any rules and without pulling any favors. Everything on that front was on the up and up and there was never any question of wrong doing, something the media - try as they might - attempted to sensationalize.)
No ... it was nothing more than an aggravating little technicality, a blip of a line in the FIFA rule book stating a country had to be established - and not with a mere couple week's worth of history beneath its belt. That being said, the wheels were put in motion by the FIFA Powers That Be to quash our little micronation of "Unbelievia" from its meteoric rise on the world stage of sporting events. We were ousted from competition ... and there was nothing we could do about.
FIFA, it claimed, had a responsibility to its fans:
"It would go against the grain of sports and would be viewed as impartial if we did not not see through to removal of unqualified participants in The World Cup. Our decision to remove Unbelievia from the competition is final."
Yet ... Luis Suarez continues to remain a name of import in the sport despite his "appetite" for other players. And FIFA turns in the other direction whenever S.M.U.D.G.E. is mentioned. Go figure.
We grouped together as a team and came to this conclusion: The little men on their little thrones who run FIFA simply couldn't come to grips with the fact a suave, well put together cohesive unit such as we could so overwhelmingly dominate the 2014 World Cup in the fashion we displayed. (Which was fabulous, by the way.) So they brought the hammer down in the form of a stupid technical aside to save face.
The tragedy here is that our fans are being denied. That's the sad fact of the matter. So, to them we say we're sorry ... sorry FIFA decided to take their balls (so to speak) and go home. They have that ability, obviously, but it makes them look like whiny, snotty-nosed brats for doing so. They just couldn't handle the truth. We're sorry, too, for the efforts of our coaching staff and additional team members. Their tireless contributions will not be forgotten.
Regardless, our heads are held high. We know the blood, sweat and tears we put out in realizing our dream.
And, as far as we're concerned, we accomplished it.