BERLIN (Reuters) – On the day the World Cup final was played in 2002, the Caribbean island of Montserrat played the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan in a specially arranged match between the two lowest ranked teams in the world.
Bhutan, ranked 202nd, beat Montserrat, then ranked 203rd and last in FIFA’s rankings 4-0 in front of 15,000 people at home high in the Himalayas. After the match the players got together and watched Brazil beat Germany 2-0 in the real World Cup final on TV.
FIFA’s membership has now grown to 205 countries but last-placed American Samoa — unenviably on the wrong end of a 31-0 world record defeat to Australia five years ago, will not play 204th-ranked Turks & Caicos Islands on the day of the World Cup final this year.
“It’s a shame,” FIFA spokesman Markus Siegler said at FIFA’s daily briefing, “because it was a great occasion and there was a great documentary made about it, but there are no plans to repeat the idea.”