Breaking down borders: the Southern Frontier Cup comes to Surrey

Words: Danny Clarke

On 1 September 2019, International Surrey Football, a non-FIFA representative team for the county of Surrey, located in the south-east of England, announced its plan to hold a four-team invitational tournament in the region. Called the Southern Frontier Cup, it invited three CONIFA members to compete ahead of the 2020 CONIFA World Football Cup.

The name of the tournament derives from the region’s Saxon history as a sparsely populated frontier region, with the majority of Surrey’s population listed on the banks of the River Thames closer to areas such as Southwark and Brixton, while little settlements existed in areas closer to the South Downs.

The region was fought over between the surrounding kingdoms of the time, Kent, Essex, Sussex, Wessex and Mercia, before the county was finally conquered by Wessex in 825. The name Surrey itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘Sūþrīge’ (or ‘Suthrige’), meaning ‘southern region’, and this is thought to originate from the region’s status as the southern-most portion of Mercian territory.

The tournament, playing its inaugural edition in May 2020, will consist of four teams, including the host Surrey as well as three invited teams. The competition is played over two days in a knockout format, with teams being drawn at random into one of two semi-final fixtures. The losing teams from both fixtures will play a third-place fixture the following day, while the winning teams from both fixtures will play in the final held following the third-place fixture, giving each team two games in the tournament.

The 2020 Southern Frontier Cup will be held at Whyteleafe Football Club, located in the eastern part of Surrey in the borough of Tandridge (located south of Croydon), between 23-24 May, one week prior to the start of the CONIFA World Football Cup 2020, taking place in Skopje, North Macedonia between 30 May – 7 June.

Surrey had invited three CONIFA teams to take part, two of which have qualified for the 2020 World Football Cup.

Surrey – Playing their first game in 2018, ahead of the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup held in London, International Surrey Football is hosting the Southern Frontier Cup. Surrey has previously played friendlies against two CONIFA members, Barawa and the Chagos Islands, as well as a friendly against the British Army FA, a county-level FA which is a member of the Football Association. Their participation in the Southern Frontier Cup will follow two other friendlies to be held earlier in May.

Yorkshire – Debuting in early 2018, the Yorkshire International Football Association was the first participant announced for the Southern Frontier Cup. Yorkshire debuted against Ellan Vannin and has gone on to play in a total of eight games, all against CONIFA members.

Cascadia – Debuting in the group stage of the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup, the Cascadia Association Football Federation finished sixth out of the 16 participating teams. The north American side has qualified to participate in the 2020 edition of the World Football Cup and played two friendlies in 2019 against the Chagos Islands, which was held at Whyteleafe, as well as Darfur, held in Washington state, USA.

Parishes of Jersey – Debuting near the end of 2019 against Yorkshire, the Parishes of Jersey were the final team to be announced as participants in the Southern Frontier Cup. The Channel Island team has qualified for the 2020 CONIFA World Football Cup in North Macedonia. Parishes of Jersey has played three games, twice against Yorkshire as well as once against the Chagos Islands.

Looking beyond the 2020 edition of the Southern Frontier Cup, International Surrey Football has already outlined ambitions to hold editions of the tournament on an annual basis, with intentions for the tournament to be expanded to include a women’s edition to support Surrey’s women’s team, who are expected to debut ahead of the start of the Southern Frontier Cup in 2020. To find out more or to buy tickets for the 2020 Southern Frontier Cup, go to

CONIFA’s AGM: looking to the future in Jersey

CONIFA began debating its agenda for the coming decade on day one of its 7th Annual General Meeting, opened in Jersey by Global President Per-Anders Blind and Jersey’s Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture Senator, Steve Pallett.

Steve, whose ministerial responsibilities cover the island’s sport, reflected on Jersey’s rich history of grassroots football – particularly the Jersey Bulls non-league football club – and its fierce sporting rivalry with Guernsey matched only, he claimed, by the Manchester and Liverpool derbies.

Amid the procedural matters and financial reports was a reflection of CONIFA’s many successes over 2019: CONIFA’s new tournament for footballers with disabilities, the CONIFA No Limits European Football Cup in Monaco, the CONIFA EFC in Artsakh, and the substantial growth in membership across Asia, the Americas and Oceania.

Today, CONIFA is a global family of 58 member associations representing 409 million people. It is entirely volunteer-run, built atop the passion and commitment of its members, friends and supporters.

But the job of the AGM was to look forward to CONIFA’s future. Speaking to the delegates, Per-Anders’ asserted that “CONIFA exists to serve its members – you are CONIFA.”

To meet this assertion, he asked the members for their own suggestions for CONIFA’s direction over the next few years. Putting their heads together, they sent a clear message: CONIFA should work to become a more inclusive, transparent organisation that balances its ethical and moral imperative with laws and regulations.

Suggestions were raised about carbon offsetting and reducing CONIFA’s impact on the environment, promoting women’s football, and launching more tournaments outside of Europe.

As it grows, CONIFA faces both challenges and opportunities. The discussions that took place at the AGM expressed a shared desire to meet these challenges with a more future-facing, internationalist and inclusive outlook.

As evidence of that growth and expansion, Mapuche, Rapa Nui, Hawaii, West Papua, Crimea and Elba Island were officially confirmed as members of CONIFA, significantly increasing its range in South America, North America, Asia and Europe.

The long-serving General Secretary Sascha Düerkop was re-elected to rapturous applause, alongside 14 other Executive Committee members, finalising the day’s events.

CONIFA World Football Cup 2020: the groups are announced!

The draw for the CONIFA World Football Cup 2020 took place today (Sunday 26 January) on the beautiful island of Jersey.

Sixteen teams spanning the world’s six permanently inhabited continents will battle it out, in the spirit of football and friendship, to become world champions in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia.

The draw was made by Lucy Bostritski, from CONIFA lead sponsor; Jens Jockel, CONIFA Asia President; Hakan Kuorak, head of the Sapmi Football Association; and Roger Lundback, CONIFA Global Referee Director.

Group A: Parishes of Jersey, Panjab, Kurdistan, Chagos Islands

Group B: Karpatalya, Western Armenia, Tamil Eelam, Kabylia

Group C: Mapuche, Matabeleland, Kernow, Australian First Nations

Group D: South Ossetia, Cascadia, United Koreans in Japan, Darfur United

With four teams – Parishes of Jersey, Mapuche, Kernow and Australian First Nations – making their debut in a CONIFA tournament, the World Football Cup is destined to be a great occasion.

CONIFA and lead sponsors look forward to welcoming all players, coaches and support staff from all competing football associations to the tournament – and we look forward to welcoming fans from across the globe to celebrate football, culture, and friendship.

As a final note, we would like to thank Parishes of Jersey, Visit Jersey and the Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa for hosting the CONIFA 2020 AGM, where the draw for the 2020 World Football Cup took place.

CONIFA in Jersey: AGM news and activities

Here’s what to expect as CONIFA heads to Jersey for its AGM

A new decade signals new challenges and new opportunities for CONIFA and its members, and the way ahead for the footballing body will come under the microscope at its upcoming Annual General Meeting in Jersey’s Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa on 25 and 26 January 2020.

With a 10-year anniversary for the organisation approaching in 2023, the 2020 AGM will take a look at what lies ahead for CONIFA, with a 2020-23 activity plan to be discussed by those who make their way to the Channel Island at the end of this month.

The seven years so far have seen remarkable process for CONIFA, with a number of memorable footballing tournaments bringing together members from across the world to celebrate their association with CONIFA, and the community that has arose from it.

And, as 2020 gets into gear, the attentions of many CONIFA members will be on the upcoming World Football Cup, due to take place in the Republic of North Macedonia. Further plans for the summer tournament will be discussed in Jersey, along with the all-important group stage draw, as the teams’ route to the final and the much-sought after silverware becomes clearer.

The tournament in North Macedonia will be the second to be sponsored by lead partner and the evolution of CONIFA and the organisation’s progress in 2019 in developing commercial partnerships will be celebrated at the AGM.

As CONIFA’s profile continues to grow, then so does interest in becoming a member and the AGM will see its existing members welcome the newest groups into the CONIFA organisation, with new members such as Hawai’i, Mapuche, Rapa Nui and West Papua all due to be added to the burgeoning list of FAs around the world.

In addition, continental committees will hold meetings at the AGM, and CONIFA’s Women’s division will also be meeting at the AGM for the first time.

All the important information and documentation on this year’s AGM can be found here. And we’ll be live Tweeting and posting from the AGM on all the important decisions taken over the weekend, as well as live streaming the EFC draw on 27th January via Mycujoo.

The AGM is being held with the support of Parishes of Jersey FC, Visit Jersey and the Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa. If you are a journalist who would like to attend the CONIFA AGM, please email

A year on – CONIFA celebrates its first ever No Limits tournament!

Exactly a year ago this weekend, CONIFA saw the first ever No Limits continental tournament take place in the Principality of Monaco. This was the first ever tournament for disabled football teams held by CONIFA, and four teams – County of Nice, Monaco Special Olympics, Padania, Sardinia took to the pitch at the Stade des Moneghetti on 11-13 January 2019 to play for the honour of becoming No Limits European Champions.

After the matches concluded, Monaco were crowned champions, with every team believing in the tournament motto ‘so everyone can play’ over the weekend.

Roger Lundbäck, CONIFA Global Referee Director, who officiated at the tournament, remembered the weekend fondly. “This was really a great tournament, with lots of passion and friendship between the teams and us referees. It was a memory for life – we really enjoyed being there.”

Jason Heaton, former CONIFA Commercial Director, also commented. “Working on No Limits was a pinnacle for me personally; it really showed what we we’re capable of within CONIFA. Alberto and his team showed great vision in setting up this tournament, one everyone can be proud of.”

Elisa Trecastagne, CONIFA referee, agreed. “I remember with great pleasure my participation as a referee at the No Limits tournament. I hope it’s just the beginning… I hope one day we can expand the number of participants to create a CONIFA No Limits world championship.”

And Alberto Rischio, CONIFA European President and the founder of No Limits, said: “It was exciting to be able to see 60 football players with different disabilities playing football. A year on, we would like to thank all the CONIFA staff and participating federations for taking part and supporting the teams so well. We thank sponsors Powergrass and EST Car Care Products for their support, too. No Limits has changed CONIFA, and we hope to see No Limits tournaments in Asia, Africa, Oceania and America as well!”

CONIFA is now working to set up the next edition of No Limits and is looking for new hosts and sponsors. If you are interested in getting involved in the No Limits tournament, please email European General Secretary Piotr Podlewski on – and watch this space for more news!

A perfect 10 for Tamil Eelam

West Papua score 2 to Tamil Eelam’s 10 in The Hague

West Papua’s second international match in two months saw them take on Tamil Eelam in The Hague on 21 December 2019, on a day more suited to sitting at home with your feet up than watching a CONIFA World Football Cup qualifier.

Only around 20 hardy souls turned up in time to watch the early kick-off, and they were rewarded for their presence when Tamil Eelam took the lead with less than a minute gone, Senthuran Uthayasuthan heading in a cross from the left at the far post.

Tamil Eelam wasted no time in attempting to double their advantage, with Nirunthan Sivananthan and Ninon Pasharajeshdavan coming close before Uthayasuthan struck again after eight minutes, running on to a cheeky chip over the West Papuan defence before, in one movement, chesting the ball upwards and heading it over the onrushing goalkeeper and into the empty net.

West Papua continued to face intense pressure from Tamil Eelam, and were fortunate not to fall further behind as shots continued to rain in on Bobbie Burger’s goal; Sharavarnaan Uthayasuthan shrugged off a challenge from a defender and curled in a shot which only just went the wrong side of the crossbar, and then Steven Sacayaradj unleashed a free kick from 25 yards out which was spectacularly kept out by Burger.

West Papua finally had a shot on goal after 24 minutes, when Miguel Lantveld’s free kick from just outside the left-hand angle of the penalty area flew inches over the bar. On the half hour, teammate Malvie Savage had a good chance to put his team on the scoreboard when he was presented with a good chance inside the box; he spurned it by badly snatching at the ball, and sending it high and wide of the Tamil Eelam goal. Coling Scintje almost managed to do what his two teammates failed to do – score – but he would not have known much about it, as he was on the end of a clearance from a Tamil Eelam defender, which ballooned off him and almost into the right-hand top corner of the net.

The West Papuans were enjoying their best spell of the match so far, and deservedly scored after 37 minutes. A lovely goal it was, too; a precise through ball was met at full speed by Rudi Geil de la Guz, and he proceeded to deftly chip the ball over Jerome Marusicin and into the bottom corner to shouts of joy from everyone in the West Papua technical area.

Five minutes later, it was the Tamil Eelam support’s turn to make some noise when Niranthan Sivananthan picked up the ball from a corner kick, and his shot flew straight and true through a packed penalty area into the top corner to make it 3-1. It was a goal of real quality, and it was followed by two more in the space of a minute right before half time.

A flowing move down the right involving Mayooran Chelliah and Sivananthan led to the latter nipping in at the near post and toe-poking the ball past Berger, and, seconds later, Senthuran Uthayasuthan completed his hat-trick by leaving a defender in his wake as he burst into the penalty area before side-footing the ball under Berger for his hat-trick and his side’s fifth goal.

The second half began with both teams showing a fair amount of attacking intent before normal service was resumed in the 51st minute when Uthayasuthan struck yet again after receiving a delightful pass which threaded through the West Papua defence, releasing him into reams of space; he ran on to stroke the ball past the substitute goalkeeper from 15 yards out.

Teammate Nirunthan Sivananthan was still hunting his hat-trick, and he came close to claiming it when his shot from the left-hand side of the area flashed across goal and just wide of the far post. But a seventh goal did follow, just a few moments later; a deftly-taken free-kick floated into the West Papua box and was chested down by Steven Sacayaradjy, who was standing unmolested in a crowded penalty area. He wasted no time in half-volleying the ball into the back of the net via the underside of the bar.

The tempo of the game slowed considerably as both teams made substitution after substitution, with West Papua using a rotation system which saw players being substituted only to reappear on the pitch a matter of minutes later. In between times, Kasthuran Chelliah’s dangerous low cross was centimetres in front of Vithurshan Vigneswan’s frantic lunge with the goalkeeper stranded.

Mayooran Chelliah, who was a member of the Tamil Eelam squad which took part at the 2018 World Football Cup, scored Tamil Eelam’s eighth from the penalty spot with 20 minutes left after Sharavarnaan Sivananthan was felled in the penalty area by Waikuma Peintury; Sivananthan’s penalty just evaded the reach of the substitute goalkeeper and arrowed into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

The goals kept coming, but West Papua did not give up, and Geil de la Guz began a personal battle with Tamil Eelam goalkeeper Marojan Srirajan which lasted for most of the last quarter of an hour. Srirajan was in the right place at the right time to deal with de la Guz’s rasping free kick which parted the Tamil Eelam defensive wall.

The duo’s duel was interrupted by a counter-attack which resulted in a ball into the West Papua penalty area which found Kasthuran Chelliah clear, but he stumbled as he was about to shoot and ended up scuffing the ball wide.

Geil de la Guz then had the chance to add to his side’s goal tally following a coming together of his teammate and a Tamil Eelam defender in the latter’s penalty area after 80 minutes, which resulted in referee Kees Ekelmann pointing to the spot. Unfortunately for West Papua, Geil de la Guz saw his penalty saved by Srirajan.

West Papua did grab a second goal three minutes later, but it will be a goal that Srirajan will prefer to forget. Kila Toilaila’s shot was delivered at a perfect height for Srirajan to make a fairly routine save, but the Tamil Eelam custodian contrived to fumble the ball and could only watch as it looped over him and dropped under the crossbar and over the line.

West Papua continued to press, but Tamil Eelam counter attacked and were awarded a penalty for handball with Samuel Taria lying prone at the other end needing treatment for a wrist injury. Thomas Thevesahayam slotted home the spot-kick, leaving the goalkeeper static. Geil de la Guz went on a run on the left-hand side, cut into the Tamil Eelam area and beat a defender with the tidiest of shimmies before curling the ball past Srirajan.

The ball beat the goalkeeper, but it came off the inside of the post, much to Geil de la Guz’s dismay, and this was compounded a minute or so later when Mayooran Chelliah broke down the right-hand side on a counter attack, performed a one-two and crossed the ball in to namesake Kasthuran, who beat a defender on the edge of the six-yard box before cutting inside and firing the ball into the back of the net to bring up a perfect 10 for Tamil Eelam just prior to Ekelmann blowing the final whistle.

It was an accomplished display from the Tamil Eelam side, who were the better team for most of the 90 minutes, and a performance that followed on from their 5-0 demolition of East Turkistan in Paris seven days earlier. West Papua may have conceded 10 goals, but it was a vast improvement on their display against East Turkistan, when they lost by eight goals to two; they were much more coherent, they never let their heads drop despite the mounting goal tally against them, and they created more chances. Positives for both sides after 90 minutes, then, but the points went to Tamil Eelam.

WEST PAPUA: 1 Bobbie BURGER (1 A N OTHER), 2 DAVID, 3 Stefanus SAPIOPER (15 Samuel TARIA), 7 Miguel LANTVELD, 19 Mansonai AP, 10 Jassin AKOUDAD (14 Coling SCINTJE), 12 Rudy GEIL DE LA GUZ (20 Kila TOILAILA), 17 Malvic SAVAGE (25 REVELINO), 21 Waikuma PENTURY, 22 Dennis BOATENG, 24 Lionel GIATHO

TAMIL EELAM: 1 Jerome MARUSICIN (29 Marajan SRIRARJAN), 2 Ninon PASHARAJESUDAVAN, 3 Sharavarnaan UTHAYASUTHAN (14 Virashan ANANDARAJAH), 6 Steven SACAYARADJ (9 Kasthuran CHELLIAH), 7 Mayooran CHELLIAH, 13 Sharavarnaan SIVANANTHAN, 15 Keerthihan KALAIALAGAN, 16 Nirunthan SIVANANTHAN, 18 Senthuran UTHAYASUTHAN (12 Vithurshan VIGNESWAN), 20 Kisanthan NAGARASA, 21 Thomas THEVASAHAYAM

The 16 teams going to the 2020 CONIFA World Football Cup 2020 – revealed!

With the news that the CONIFA World Football Cup 2020 will be taking place between 30 May-7 June 2020 in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia, CONIFA is delighted to announce that the following teams have qualified for the tournament.

Western Sahara

Tamil Eelam
United Koreans in Japan

South Ossetia
Western Armenia
Parishes of Jersey

North America

Australian First Nations

South America

Global ticket
Chagos Islands

There is a full reserve list of teams in case any of the qualified teams can no longer attend the 2020 World Football Cup. This list is also dependent on each team paying its CONIFA membership fee by the deadline, and signing a tournament contract, so may be subject to change.

More information about the qualification system and how the 16 teams qualified will follow in due course. CONIFA looks forward to welcoming all our qualified teams to the 2020 World Football Cup to Skopje in six month’s time!

This article has been amended on 4 January 2020 to correct the qualification list. The list mistakenly included Ellan Vannin as a European qualified team, which was incorrect. Parishes of Jersey has correctly qualified for the 2020 World Football Cup.