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January 11, 2018

2018 London CONIFA World Football Cup Draw Takes Place in Northern Cyprus

Build-up for the 2018 Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) World Football Cup continued last week, with the draw taking place during the CONIFA Annual General Meeting in Northern Cyprus. The World Football Cup, which will be held from Thursday 31 May to Saturday 9 June in London, is set to bring together 16 teams from five continents for a diverse extravaganza of football, culture and international understanding.

PHOTO DOWNLOAD: Images from 2016 CONIFA World Football Cup (Credit: Beslan Lagulaa/CONIFA)

Group 1 will see Barawa, a region of Somalia, join Ellan Vannin (the Isle of Man), Tamil Eelam and Cascadia, a geographic area of the United States and Canada.

Group 2 is arguably the ‘group of death’, bringing together defending champions Abkhazia, and 2017 CONIFA European Football Cup runners-up Northern Cyprus, both partially-recognised states, along with Felvidek, a Hungarian-inhabited region of Slovakia, and Tibet.

Group 3 pits European champions Padania, a region of Italy, with Székely Land, a Hungarian part of Romania, Pacific nation Kiribati and Matabeleland, an area of Zimbabwe.

Finally, Group 4 brings together 2016 World Football Cup runners up Panjab, the United Koreans in Japan, Western Armenia and one of CONIFA’s newest members, Kabylia representing a region of north Africa.

“We are excited to be moving towards what promises to be our biggest tournament yet,” said CONIFA President Per-Anders Blind. “The draw has provided some interesting and unusual encounters, and we are sure all games will entertain the large crowds that we are sure London is going to supply.”

“Arrangements for London 2018 are progressing well,” explained CONIFA General Secretary Sascha Düerkop. “Tickets will go on sale shortly, and we will soon be announcing our major tournament sponsors, stadiums and associated events. We can’t wait to bring the CONIFA story to the home of football.”

CONIFA is an international football federation for teams outside of FIFA, with members including states, de facto states, regions, minority groups and sports-isolated territories. CONIFA is a non-profit organisation registered in Sweden.

Recap

Group 1: Barawa, Ellan Vannin, Tamil Eelam, Cascadia

Group 2: Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, Felvidek, Tibet

Group 3: Padania, Székely Land, Kiribati, Matabeleland

Group 4: Panjab, United Koreans in Japan, Western Armenia, Kabylia

Interviews can be arranged on request with CONIFA President Per-Anders Blind, CONIFA General Secretary Sascha Düerkop, CONIFA Commercial Director (and author of the acclaimed Up Pohnpei) Paul Watson and players, coaches and administrators from participating teams.

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By Robin Toal

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