CONIFA is short for Confederation of Independent Football Associations. It can be described as sort of a parallel universe of football, the one where unrecognized teams take all the spotlight.
Many view CONIFA as a successor to Viva World Cup that first started in 2012. Due to the fact that it gives ethnic minorities and sub-national entities a chance to shine, people can’t help but love it.
CONIFA Has A Worldwide Reach
Formally, CONIFA has no employees. Regardless of that, it has 47 members and they are spread across five continents, so it has a worldwide reach. All in all, it represents more than 5000 ethnic minorities. Sascha Düerkop, general secretary of CONIFA, described it as an entity that aims to bring people together whereas other organizations have done nothing but build walls.
CONIFA Through The Years
In 2014, Sweden was chosen to host the competition. The action took place between the 1st and 8th of June 2014 at the Jämtkraft Arena. It was an epic showdown of 12 teams, but in the end, the County of Nice claimed the trophy.
Fast forward to 2016, there were a couple of changes, the most notable of which was the introduction of the qualification system (it replaced the previous invitation-based system). In the grand finale, Abkhazia defeated Panjab 6 to 5 in a nail-biting match of the century.
Finally, we reached 2018, another year of change. Originally, 12 teams were either invited or qualified to take part in the tournament, which was changed to 16 for the first time in CONIFA’s history. It was a tough battle, but when the clash was finally over, Kárpátalja came out on top, defeating Northern Cyprus in the grand finals with a score of 3 to 2. For the upcoming event scheduled to take place in 2020, Barawa will be the host.
CONIFA 2020 Will Be Held In Somaliland
For the first time since the competition came to be, Conifa World Cup will be held outside of Europe. In January 2019, there was a general meeting in Krakow where Somaliland was voted to become the chosen destination for the event. Shortly thereafter, the Executive Committee confirmed it as well, so it’s official.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, Somaliland is an independent state located in the Horn of Africa. 1991 was the year in which they declared sovereignty; however, no other country seems to recognize it as of yet. 2011 was a big year in terms of football activity – that’s when the Somaliland Football Association was founded.