Yes, the FIFA World Cup is good: Messi, Neymar, lads in the crowd wearing facepaint and crying. But it’s also really hard to get to, tickets are expensive, and the chances of getting thrown in a canal by an elite-trained hooligan are way higher than they are in real life.
So we found an alternative: the CONIFA World Football Cup, a grassroots, non-profit, international football tournament for countries, de facto nations, regions and minority peoples. On seven non-league grounds across London over ten days, sixteen teams including Tuvalu, Matabeleland, Tibet and Barawa compete for a rare chance at glory.
With 47 members around the world representing over 334 million people, CONIFA celebrates the teams who can’t or don’t qualify for FIFA membership, and gives under-recognised countries a unique opportunity to take part in a World Cup.
In the tournament, every team has a story, every nation or region has a reason to be there, and every one of them has felt ignored or under-represented before. For many of them, CONIFA gives fans the first chance to ever see their team play – to sing their anthem and wave their flag and cheer for their own identity.
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