Conifa football for the forgotten
The untold story of footballs forgotten World Cup
James Hendicott

Do you ever read something and wonder how you hadn’t heard of this before. Or see a book and be amazed this story hadn’t been told previously. With social media and self publication tales and declarations are coming out on the minute and it is almost impossible to keep up.

The FIFA World Cup is on every 4 years. Ireland are talking about putting in a joint bid for the 2030 games with a closing date of 2024. Each location seems to be a political decision although in previous times it may have been a case of who can buy the most votes. FIFA is big business. A multi-million euro extravaganza.

Confia is the anthises of FIFA. It’s a loose non profit organisation with no staff that represents those states or regions not aligned to FIFA. While the uk may be one of only 9 members of the United Nations not to members of fifa (instead they have 4 countries aligned), only one – Marshall Islands has no representative football team. There are many lost states it lands where people are seeking independence or feel belonging.

These become nations for the Confia World Cup and this is the story of the last tournament which was held in the UK. Places like Darfur, Isle of Man, Padina and County of Nice all have their own flags, national anthem and identity as they look to play in CONIFA registered tournaments.

CONIFA plead political neutrality, they say they have no involvement in politics or in a country’s wish for independence. Just like so many say politics has no place in sport we get to hear some of the stories here, the reason for the existence of a region in North America or indigenous people in South America. Their very existence is a political act. Recognising go the existence of a place like Tibet faces the ire of the Chinese authorities. Tibet’s training gets interrupted by people participating in daily life as they train on a thoroughfare. Roy Keane would not be happy.

Many areas sound like amusement parks , Szekely Land or Sealand. However this book is more than just a geography lesson. It’s a tale of inspiration and love.

niallhope

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