Khaiwoonese national football team

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17, 18.39866, 89.42015
Khaiwoon
Phutbal Khaiwoonmai
EmblemMascot
NicknameWepphu
AssociationFootball Association of Khaiwoon
Founded1 November 1938
World Cup Titles0
PresidentMartin Hobarow
Address220 Salsa-Oktogon Road, Oktogon Hill, Khaiwoon
Websitewepphu.kh

The Khaiwoonese national football team, also known by its nickname, the Wepphu (IPA: /wɛpfʌ/), is the national association football team of the city-state of Khaiwoon. Its home stadium is the National Stadium in the Oktogon Hill area. The team's main rival is Gobrassanya, despite the fact that Gobrassanya is a much larger country and almost always fields a more skilled team. The rare occasions when the Wepphu do beat Gobrassanya, such as in the 2014 South Central Cup, are cause for major celebrations throughout Khaiwoon.

Nickname

2015 Wepphu kit
The wepphu is the national bird of Khaiwoon, a species of gamefowl known for its boundless energy and fiery spirit. While broadcasting a particularly energetic match during the epic 1954 season, sports announcer George Oonkha described the players as "feisty like wepphu." The nickname stuck and was made official in 1972.[1] Today the team are often referred to simply as the Wepphu.

History

Beginnings

The sport of football was introduced to Khaiwoon by foreign arrivals in the 19th century. At first the game was played and followed mainly by the expatriate communities, while the native population showed little interest. An amateur league was formed during the Protectorate years, under the organization of the Royal Football Association of Khaiwoon, but there was no team that represented the city during that time. The Royal Football Association dropped the "Royal" from its name when Khaiwoon achieved independence from Ingerland in 1934, and began to make plans for an "All-Khaiwoon Team," which finally came into being in 1938 with a match played against a team from Marapura in Gobrassanya.[2]

"Legendary Team"

In the early years of the All-Khaiwoon Team, very few players were ethnic Khaiwoonese, most of them being expatriates or their descendants. In the early 1950's, however, the team gained a great deal of attention with some surprising international successes. This "Legendary Team," starring Carl Hobarow, qualified for the South Central Cup in both 1950 and 1954, and managed to reach the quarter-final both times.[3] Although the team failed to make it to the top four, their remarkable achievements generated a great deal of excitement in the city-state and inspired a widespread interest in the sport.[4]

To remember the remarkable men of the "Legendary Team," a number of streets in the Sloebush area were named after the important players, such as Carl and Ernie Hobarow, Tom Bensen, John McEvans, Fred Versonico, Erwin Müller, Terry Mogolph, Khainooë Aighabispheë ("The Weasel") and the goalkeeper Li Fu, "The Cat."[5]

Recent Years

With the rise of other teams from around the globe in the late 1950's and 1960's, the Khaiwoonese team declined in international rankings, although it has since qualified for the South Central Cup three more times: in 1970, 2002 and 2014. With the team's help, the Khaiwoonese government reached an agreement with Gobrassanya to serve as one of the venues for the 2002 South Central Cup hosted by that country, and the third place match was held in Khaiwoon's National Stadium. Another highlight in recent years was Khaiwoon's surprising 3-1 win over Gobrassanya at the 2014 South Central Cup.[6]

South Central Cup

The Khaiwoonese team has qualified to play in the South Central Cup five times: 1950, 1954, 1970, 2002, and 2014. Their best showing was reaching the quarter-final in 1950 and 1954, a feat achieved by the so called "Legendary Team."

Year Result
1942 Failed to qualify.
1946 Failed to qualify.
1950 Quarter final
1954 Quarter final
1958 Failed to qualify.
1962 Failed to qualify.
1966 Failed to qualify.
1970 Eliminated in group stage.
1974 Failed to qualify.
1978 Failed to qualify.
1982 Failed to qualify.
1986 Failed to qualify.
1990 Failed to qualify
1994 Failed to qualify.
1998 Failed to qualify.
2002 Eliminated in group stage.
2006 Failed to qualify.
2010 Failed to qualify.
2014 Eliminated in group stage.

References

  1. Tapoonoo, Mike. "The Story of the Wepphu". The Times of Khaiwoon. Times.kh. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  2. Clarke, Toddson M. "A New History of Football in Khaiwoon". Journal of Khaiwoonese Sports History. Khaiwoon: University of Khaiwoon. June 2009.
  3. "About the Wepphu". wepphu.kh. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  4. Clarke, Toddson M. "A New History of Football in Khaiwoon". Journal of Khaiwoonese Sports History. Khaiwoon: University of Khaiwoon. June 2009.
  5. "Khaiwoon Street Names Directory". Government of Khaiwoon. streetnames.gov.kh. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  6. "About the Wepphu". wepphu.kh. Retrieved 20 September 2014.

See also