Aloha to CONIFA’s newest member – Hawai‘i!

Hawai‘i is an archipelago made up of eight major islands located within the Polynesian region of Oceania.

Established as a constitutional monarchy in 1840, the Hawaiian Kingdom became the first non-Western country to achieve full recognition as an independent state and member of the family of nations.

Hui Kanaka Pōwāwae (Hawaiian Football Federation) is the first national organization to govern associated football in all its forms within the Hawaiian Islands; and is also responsible for appointing the management of the men’s, women’s, and youth national football teams.

HFF joined CONIFA on November 28, 2019 – in celebration of Lā Kū‘oko‘a (Hawaiian Independence Day) – commemorating the formal recognition of the Hawaiian Kingdom by Great Britain, Ireland, and France on November 28, 1843.

This is the first international membership Hawai‘i has taken up since the Universal Postal Union in 1882 – and CONIFA welcomes the federation to the organisation.

CONIFA is launching its women’s football strategy – and we need our member FAs to get involved!

This year has been pivotal for women’s football – and CONIFA is striving to capitalise on this momentum in a way that not only leads and develops the game in an ethical and responsible way, but also continues and elevates the messages of solidarity and unity that typify the women’s game.

This strategy prioritises good governance, strengthening the capacity of girls and women’s football development across all CONIFA members, creating access and opportunities for women to compete with professionalism and respect, and help create support for all members through networks and platforms of solidarity across the globe.

With this in mind, CONIFA is inviting all FAs to join our development team in developing the women’s game across CONIFA together!

CONIFA will be hosting a women’s football meeting at the AGM in January 2020, to share with everyone our long-term plan and work together towards achieving our goals. We want to meet our members, find where you are at and tailor our development initiatives around your unique needs and challenges.

In preparation for the AGM and to ensure our development strategy aligns with our members’ unique challenges and needs, we want to meet our members and understand where you are at and what you need help with.

We are inviting all members to join the conversation in the following ways:

1/ Submit a video introducing your team: we want to hear from you about your federation, women’s team, stories, unique challenges, goals, and biggest areas of need for support in developing your women’s football goals

2/ Join us on a member’s call: we want to connect and hear about your goals in 2020 and how we can support you moving forward.

– Save the dates: Wednesday and Thursday 4-5 December and 11-12 December 2019
– Doodle poll: – pick your best day and time to connect with us.

3/ Join us at the AGM: please send a member of your FA who will engage with the women’s development side and meet us in person to share your story, development goals, and women’s football ideas – what do you want to see from CONIFA?

4/ Make us a video and send it in:

  • Please submit: by 6th December to
  • Please include:
    • Who you are and what makes your federation unique
    • Women’s football status, challenges, support needs and goals for next two years
    • Your women’s unique stories
  • Please create:
    • Videos can be made with your mobile phones
    • Videos should be no longer than 10 minutes long

Please note – we will use these video submissions to work on partnerships and sponsors for women’s development, so please share your story for the world to hear!

Goal: the purpose of this development opportunity is to assist members with building a foundation for growth in order to sustain development programs and future participation in competitive events.

Contact: if you have any questions at all, please reach out to the CONIFA Development Team at: We look forward to hearing from you!

The Human Rights Cup 2019 comes to life in Cape Town, South Africa from 1-10 December 2019

In recognition and celebration of the United Nations’ annual global campaign to mark International Human Rights Day (10 December), the second edition of the annual Human Rights Cup will be held at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa from 1-10 December 2019.

The historic inaugural Human Rights Cup 2018 was held in December in Johannesburg at the Bosmont Stadium, South Africa, and was a great success. The official local organising partner for the 2019 edition is uLoyiko, based in Cape Town.

uLoyiko is a youth-led organisation that seeks to promote human rights through theatre and the arts.


Seventy-one years after its adoption by the UN General Assembly, the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) are as relevant and timeless as ever. Whilst the UDHR continues to be a source of inspiration at national, continental and global level, this is a challenging time for human rights around the world. The upcoming United Nations International Human Rights Day is an opportunity to reaffirm the universal values and enduring principles enshrined in the Declaration, mobilise people around the world, and take stock of human rights today. The principle of standing up for human rights, and the notion that human rights abuses anywhere are the concern of people everywhere, is an immensely powerful and inspiring ideal for the 21st century.

Busani Sibindi, the founder and chairperson of the Human Rights Cup, commented that the tournament “will appeal to a broad audience in Africa and all over the world in a language the world understands – the universal language of football. Football brings people together across boundaries, cultures and religions to promote peace, tolerance and understanding.’’ Sibindi also added: “Our football players are a new generation of human rights champions and will play a central role in the campaign. Via the Human Rights Cup, they help promote understanding of how the Universal Declaration empowers us all, and encourage engagement in ways that each of us can stand up for rights, every day.”

The Human Rights Cup brings together a group of inspirational football teams that represent the power of hope for a better future and human rights, as well as the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities for health, education and social-inclusion goals. In particular, gender equality is at the heart of human rights and United Nations’ values. The 2019 edition will host 12 teams in all; six teams in the men’s category and six teams in the women’s category. Teams that are expected to grace the 2019 edition are:

* Blue Bird Ladies FC, based in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg. The team is using soccer to empower and develop young girls in the township The Blue Bird Ladies are the current champions of the cup in the women’s category.

* Blue Bird Ladies FC will be joined by a team from the same community, the Malandela Mighty Heroes Football Club, which plies its trade in the third tier of the South African league system. The team is also holding champions of the 2018 edition, after defeating the Matabeleland men’s team on penalties.

* The Matabeleland representative teams will also return to contend for the titles again after losing the finals on penalties to the teams from Alexandria. The Matabeleland teams use football to rebuild their community who, after decades, have not yet healed from decades of oppression and genocide by the late Mugabe regime.

* Debuting in 2019 is the Livingstone Youth Football Academy Ladies, based in Zambia, who are using sport to lift girls from poverty and support their realisation of human rights as well as community development.

* Also expected to make it for the first time is a women’s team from Somalia – the first of its kind. Should they make it, the Golden Girls Sports Centre team will be an interesting addition to the tournament, as they would play all their matches covered in their traditional dress. Beyond all cultural barriers, the team has managed to stay together and excel in playing football and reiterating the need to empower everyone.


Today, at least 10 million people around the world are denied a nationality and statelessness remains a huge problem. Members of marginalised communities and minority groups are often victims of discrimination and exclusion. The teams that participated in the inaugural Human Rights Cup are a positive example of overcoming challenges of marginalisation. In times of war and post-conflict, football can provide youth with a sense of hope. Football can help with programmes focused on peace and reconciliation, and can help rebuild and inspire communities.

Furthermore, there is a growing contribution to the realisation of sport and human rights. Recently, the Human Rights Council held the 2018 UN Social Forum to focus on the possibilities of using sport to promote human rights for all and to strengthen universal respect for them. The Human Rights Cup will also provide a platform for the global moment of sport and human rights.

The cup still does not have a major sponsor, and the international management committee appeals to all human rights champions and well-wishers to come and support this worthwhile initiative. The cup is a growing opportunity for sponsors to benefit from major news and media coverage. It is expected that, as it grows, the event will appeal to media all over the world, including television, newspapers, and magazines, digital and social media. All press releases and publicity for the event will give huge branding and recognition to the sponsors; in addition 2019 sponsors will receive recognition through all marketing and tournament materials including ticketing, advertising, public relations and signage and social and digital media.

On the special occasion of the annual celebrations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 2nd Annual Human Rights Cup in South Africa is a unique opportunity to inspire and unite the people of Africa and the world to #standup4humanrights through the beautiful game.

For more details, follow  and the Twitter handle @HumanRightsCup for updates.

Email for more sponsorship information.

To support  the initiative, please donate here.


The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) has today announced another exciting partnership, with Young Pioneer Tours signing a one-year deal to become the football federation’s Official Tour Partner.

2019 has been a year of progress for CONIFA, with the growth of their women’s football programme, along with a hugely successful European Football Cup tournament taking place in Artsakh, won by South Ossetia.


And 2020 will get off to a bright start, thanks to the new partnership with Young Pioneer Tours.

Sascha Duerkop, CONIFA General Secretary said: “We are delighted to team up with Young Pioneer Tours in 2020.

“We were very excited to hear about their work in taking people all around the world, and their ethos was very similar to ours, so the partnership makes a lot of sense.

“We are sure that our CONIFA followers will make good use of their services and that it will be the start of a successful working relationship.”

Young Pioneer Tours specialise in tours to North Korea, a host of unrecognised countries and other worldwide destinations at budget prices.

They combine the best guides in the industry with expert local knowledge and contacts to ensure their trips are unparalleled experiences for adventurous tourists.

And Gareth Johnson of Young Pioneer Tours is looking forward to working with CONIFA, adding: “I personally love football and travel to obscure places, so CONIFA are a dream partner for us. I am sincerely excited about us both achieving great things from this partnership.”

– ENDS –

Media Information
For more information on CONIFA and its work to support football around the globe, contact Cassie Whittell, Director of Media & Communications on

For more information on Young Pioneer Tours, contact