The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) is proud to announce that the Sicilia Football Association was approved as its newest member by a vote of its executive committee on June 27, 2021.
Sicilia FA was born in 2020 to represent the largest island of the Mediterranean Sea and its people. An independent kingdom for almost seven centuries, Sicily has a strong national identity along with a rich and complex culture, its own language and unique political and social traditions.
Today the island is a highly autonomous region of Italy, still governed through its own Parliament which dates back to 1130. Historically, the people of the island often fought to maintain its independence with examples including the Sicilian Vespers (1282), the Sicilian Revolution of 1848 and the separatist movement during World War II (1943-1946).
People residing on the island number five million but other large communities of people of Sicilian descent live around the world. Sicily also has an important football tradition with clubs often present in the prestigious Serie A.
“I am very proud and honored to welcome Sicilia FA to our global family,” said CONIFA Global President, Per-Anders Blind.
“With Sicilia FA as new CONIFA members, it strengthens CONIFA’s ability to promote, celebrate and educate the world about the beauty of the Sicilian people and their unique culture and history through the largest sport in the world – football.
“I’ve personally had the honor to speak to the national team management and I’m 110% convinced that they will do their very best to make Sicilians proud of their heritage and origin, not only in Europe but all over the world.
“It’s when we collaborate with each other that we are strong and Sicilia FA is an excellent ambassador of such values.”
Salvatore Mangano, President of Sicilia FA, said: “I am grateful, on a personal level and on behalf of the whole association, to the President Per-Anders Blind and all organs of CONIFA for their support during the entire admission process and for making us feel incredibly welcome during these last months.
“We are enormously proud to be part of such a prestigious confederation and we will do our absolute best to be an active player in the competitions and all other activities.”
“We are very happy to have achieved this first milestone of a journey that started in 2018,” added Alberto L’Episcopo, general manager of Sicilia FA.
“This is a new starting point for us. We are hard at work to guarantee to CONIFA a high level of professionalism and support across all branches of our organisation.
“We are determined to take part in all international tournaments, not just with the national team but also with all the selections for the No Limit area of CONIFA, which we consider just as important.”
Francesco Zema, Global No Limit Director of CONIFA, concluded: “At times like this I am proud to be part of the CONIFA family. Despite the pandemic and all the difficulties the world has been experiencing over the last two years, we keep moving forward and open our doors to new affiliates, new projects and opportunities.
“Everybody in the whole world knows where Sicily stands but what is Sicily? It is not only a stunning island and is more than a special administrative region in Italy. Sicily is the meeting point of stories, civilizations, religions and cultures.
“Sicily is its huge diaspora shaping the world, the Sicilian language, heritage and traditions. Sicily is a nation that deserves to play the game we love, full of values, ethics and stories to tell.”
More information and contacts
CONIFA, is the football federation for all associations outside FIFA. It’s a global non-profit organization that supports representatives of international football teams from nations, de-facto nations, regions, minority peoples and sports-isolated territories.
Global media: Please contact Global Media Director Tom Howe, email@example.com
Media in Europe: Please contact Continental Media Manager Chiara Bazzani, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sicilia Football Association: Please contact Head of International Relations Mario Trabucco della Torretta, email@example.com