- Advertisement -
73 F
Home Sports Is there hope for the Jaguars in 2022?

Is there hope for the Jaguars in 2022?

- Advertisement -

In June 2018, the sporting world will focus its attention on Russia and the football World Cup. For the people of Belize, there is interest as general soccer fans but sadly, there is no opportunity to cheer on their national team: the Jaguars.

It may seem a forlorn hope that Belize could make a stunning appearance in Qatar in 2022 but should they be dismissed completely?

Setting a Precedent

El partido Calificador FIFA Copa Mundial(CC BY-ND 2.0) by U.S. Embassy Panama

The people of Panama may have been forgiven, at the start of qualifying for Russia 2018, that their team had no chance of making it through to the finals. For this year’s World Cup, Hernan Dario Gomez’s team are rated as 1000/1 outsiders to lift the trophy in the international football betting markets but the very fact that they are in Russia is little short of a miracle.

Currently, the Panamanians are ranked 63 in the world but when CONCACAF qualifying began for the tournament, they were considerably further down the list. Against all odds, they’ve made it to Russia 2018 but is there any hope of Belize following their example next time around?

Past Glories

FIFA World Cup Trophy (CC BY-SA 2.0) by warrenski

The Jaguars have yet to appear in the finals of a World Cup tournament and in all honesty, have yet to come particularly close. However, the team did get through to the finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2013 and have enjoyed other minor successes over the years. The side’s biggest win is also a notable one, beating Nicaragua by an emphatic 7-1 scoreline in 2002.

It’s also important to remember that Belize only played their first full football international as recently as 1995, losing to El Salvador, and it can take heart from many other teams around the globe who have emerged from the fringes to become a force in World Cup football.

Men to Deliver

Impact Montreal IMFCLive with Ultras Mon (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Mila Araujo @Milaspage

If the Jaguars are to develop and become competitive in the game, these are the men charged with lifting the country up from their current FIFA ranking of 170.

The team is led by manager Richard Orlowski who was previously in charge of Nepal and the current skipper and most experienced player is the veteran Elroy Smith, whose tally of 56 caps is a record for Belize at international level. The majority of the side play in domestic football across Belize itself but there are some notable exceptions.

Goalkeeper Woodrow West plays his football in Honduras for Progreso while midfielder Nana Mensah is with Belediye Bingolspor in Turkey. But perhaps the man who has made most of an impression overseas is the forward Michael Salazar who was snapped up by Montreal Impact of the United States’ Major Soccer League.

Salazar failed to find the net in his first ten internationals but averaged a goal every other game in a loan spell with Ottawa Fury last season.

It’s a spirited if inexperienced squad who, in reality, will need to look beyond 2022 for their first appearance at a World Cup finals but as Panama will prove at Russia 2018, miracles really do happen and the whole of the soccer world should, therefore, hang on to their dreams.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

Update on Plans for the Reopening of Schools in Belize

As we prepare for a second wave of COVID-19 across the country of Belize, parents can't help but wonder, "what will happen...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Thomas Vincent Ramos and Garifuna Settlement Day

Did you know... the Garifuna Settlement Day holiday was created by Thomas Vincent Ramos in 1941? Thomas Vincent Ramos lived from September 17, 1887 to November...

GM Launches Mitchell Moody & Associates Website

Mitchell-Moody Associates (MMA) provides a wide range of Professional Architectural and Engineering services in the field of Architecture, Civil and Structural Engineering...

Major Hurricane Forecasted for Central America


Related News

Belizeans Cap Off Dominant Regular Season at Briercrest with Awards!

Karym Coleman and Bryton Codd have just wrapped up their second season for the Briercrest Clippers in the tough Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, leading...

Clency “Coope” Lopez off to Midland College

The Belize Basketball Federation (BBF) is delighted to announce and congratulate Clency “Coope” Lopez, Belize National Basketball Team’s starting point guard, on his award...

Belize’s Female National Team Qualifies for Olympic Qualification Tournament

As a result of Belize’s second place win in the 2019 Central American Women’s Volleyball Championship that was held in Belize City from August...

Belize to Participate in Historic Regional Rugby Match

Belize’s first national rugby team was founded on November 9, 2018. The team has made great progress in their level of competition,...

Belize Wins Yucatan Beach Soccer Cup

To close off a weekend of sports victories, team Belize has taken the Gold in the 6th Yucatan Beach Soccer Cup.
- Advertisement -