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Fine. So England beat San Marino by eight goals to nil last week and suddenly the Three Lions are on cloud nine.

Admittedly brought down to earth by a sorry performance in Montenegro, but seriously, what’s the big deal about eight goals?

Do we actually enjoy watching an annihilation like that? I’m certainly not rolling out the red carpet and giving Gaffa Roy and his marvellous eleven an open-top bus parade through the heart of London just for that – nobody should.

Whipping Boys, San Marino Team Photo 2013

Whipping Boys, San Marino Team Photo 2013

Let’s not kid ourselves, please. San Marino has to be the worst team in sporting history and that is no exaggeration. It is an inescapable fact that the Italian speaking republic has a fathomless losing streak that makes Wolves’ dark season in the Championship look positively dazzling. But I can’t see the logic, so why do they even get up in the mornings?

Shall we start with the basics?

They are so incomprehensibly woeful that they sit joint bottom and 207th in FIFA’s World Rankings along with Bhutan and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

They have ONE win in 155 attempts. Against a meagre Liechtenstein team in 2004, I can imagine that was like winning the World Cup to them.

Hiding after hiding, they continue playing. Walloped 13-0 by Germany in 2006 – their most humiliating defeat – still they plod aimlessly on.

To date, they’ve conceded 470 goals and scored 19. This statistic alone is exasperatingly cringeworthy.

There are spectators that will argue that these San Marino players are representing their country, being provided with the dreams and challenges of international football while also getting the opportunity to play at the top level against the top stars.

Conversely, they’re actually insulting and discombobulating themselves and their nation. Being internationally renowned for displaying incompetent football can’t be something to be proud of. And for that singular reason they should be ousted from all international competitions.

Arguably a tad harsh, yet not only are they depriving worthy competition for other teams and act as a plank to walk over, they fail to enthral on television making any fixture they appear in redundant and ultimately a gimme for their opposition.
There’s little point to be excited by England’s victory against San Marino even though they were mauled by an eight goal margin. Tactless defending and maladroit passing made England’s goals look tremendously good, when really, as displayed against Montenegro, England wouldn’t get away with it against a decent, well-drilled side.

Some bookies had England priced at 1/250 to win that game. Utterly pointless. Paddy Power were actually offering shorter odds on aliens being discovered in 2013 than San Marino besting England. Worth a punt?

Many of San Marino’s players have part-time jobs. Enrico Cibelli pulls pints at a pub when he’s not made to look totally silly on a football pitch which, I might add, is almost in as poor a shape as Bloomfield Road is. Amongst the other cannon fodder are students, bank clerks and teachers all of whom lead basic lives. Doing these lads no justice, it also reinforces the awareness that stardom in international football is galaxies away for these infinitesimal players.

San Marino Players' Professions

San Marino Players’ Professions

But if San Marino want to take football seriously, FIFA need to step in and implement a new methodology in dealing with sloth-like teams such as San Marino. Enough is enough of being constantly thrashed; if their pitiful team wants success they must be sectioned off from ‘bigger nations’ and placed into a small pool of ‘lesser nations’ that can fight it out for qualification.

Andorra, Faroe Islands and Luxembourg could be party to this too as it would stop their laborious treatment of being taught how to play football and give these countries a chance to actually celebrate a goal, which is something rarer than a Fernando Torres goal.

It’s a shame to be so negative about a country who clearly want to play the beautiful game but just don’t have the aptitude. They’re nothing but a nuisance. What would have happened if Wayne Rooney or Frank Lampard had sustained a serious injury only down to an amateur tackle made by a San Marino player? I’d be incensed.

Bottom line is that if San Marino aren’t dealt with accordingly and given a fair and less shameful way of attempting to make a major tournament, they simply have to go. I can’t sympathise with a team that knows they are going to lose before the goals having even been erected.

Post written by Greg Wilson
Twitter: @GregWilson09

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