Participants in ConIFA World Football Cup 2016 Abkhazia

Abkhazia is an independent state at the Eastern coast of the Black Sea, only recognized by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and other unrecognized nations. They declared sovereignity in 1990 and were first registered in 2008 by Russia.

Georgia still today declares that Abkhazia is a part of Georgia. Regardless of the official status of recognition Abkhazia is de-facto independent and self-governed, and thus has an excellent reason to field an own national team.

The Football Federation of Abkhazia (FFA) was established in 2007 and is led by the former Dynamo Sukhum player Jemal Gubaz. During its first international tournament, the ConIFA World Football Cup 2014, Abkhazia ended 8th. Before Abkhazia played two friendly games, in 2011 against Nagorno Karabakh (1-1 and 0-3), in 2013 against South Ossetia (3-0).

The Chagos Islands is a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, situated some 500 km due south of the Maldives.

Officially part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos were home to the Chagossians for more than a century and a half. The UK evicted them in the early 1970s and allowed the USA to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. Today the Chagossians live in diaspora mainly in the Seychelles and the UK.

The Chagos Football Association (CFA) was established in 2003 and is led by Mariesabrina Jean. Until today the Chagos Islands national team only played 3 friendly matches, all against Sealand (3-1, 2-4 and 1-1). The Chagos Islands national team now aims to step forward and play in their first international tournament in ConIFA as soon as possible.

In total there are around 35 – 40 million Kurds. They originate from Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey, and are based all over the world now.

Iraqi Kurdistan gained an autonomus status in a 1970 agreement with the Iraqi government, and its status was re-confirmed as an autonoumous entity within the federal Iraqi republic in 2005.

The Kurdish Football Association was founded in 2006, and represents Iraqi Kurdistan. The head office is located in the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Arbil (Irbil). The national team of Kurdistan has participated in several international tournaments. In 2012 they won the VIVA World Football Cup in Kurdistan, after a thrilling final against Northern Cyprus (2-1). At the ConIFA World Football Cup 2014 they ended 6th.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is an independent de-facto nation in the Northern part of the Mediterranean Sea island of Cyprus.

The KTFF (Kıbrıs Türk Futbol Federasyonu) is the official body of football in Northern Cyprus. They have a long and outstanding footballing history including participations at the 1980 Islamic Games (playing against Turkey, Saudi-Arabia, Malaysia and Lybia), the 2006 FIFI Wild Cup (playing against Zanzibar, Greenland and Gibraltar) and the 2012 VIVA World Football Cup (playing against Darfur United, Provence, Zanzibar and Kurdistan).

They also hosted the amazing ELF Cup in 2006 and played against Crimea, Tajikistan, Tibet and Zanzibar. In front of their own fans they won the trophy (against Crimea, 3-1).

Padania is an alternative name for the Pado Valley in Northern Italy and consists by Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Liguria, Trentino, Vallée d’Aoste.

The term Padania is the name of a proposed institutional region in the Po Valley and has been used since 1970 when the statesman Guido Fanti began to work on it.

The Padania Football Association is a new foundation and the first independent and overpolitical Football Association to promote football in the Pado Valley. From 2013 on Padania FA (PFA) helps people in the region to present themself in matches and international tournaments and tell the world about their rich history and culture. The team ended 5th in the ConIFA World Football Cup 2014. Their most famous player: Enoch Balotelli, the brother of Mario.

Panjab is a geographical region comprising vast territories of northern India and eastern Pakistan.

The FA will stage community events both physical and none physical activities to promote the Panjab national team, healthy living, and community cohesion. It will promote and educate the community on the history, culture and changes effecting Panjab of today in the current climate.

The Panjab Football Association will establish a national team representing the community of Panjab. For the first time in the history of the Panjabi based community, football will be played on an international platform. At this moment most of the players come from the UK but the Panjab FA wants to grow across the world, in many highly Panjabi populated nations.

Nowadays Raetia comprises parts of eastern and central Switzerland, southern Bavaria and the Upper Swabia, Vorarlberg, the greater part of Tirol and a part of Lombardy.

Raetia Football Association was established in 2011 and represents the region of Raetia. It was a province of the Roman Empire, named after the Rhaetian people. They have their own language.

Lapland is a geographic region, divided between the states of Norway, Russia, Sweden and Finland. The Sami are official recognized as a minority group in the 3 Scandinavian countries.

There is currently a renaissance of Sami culture, with groups that perform traditional music, as well as youth groups that incorporate features of that music to more modern sounds.

FA Sápmi was established in March 2014. It’s the successor of the Sámi Football Association, which was founded in 2003 and played 3 VIVA World Football Cups (of which they one the first, in 2006). The ConIFA World Fooball Cup 2014 was hosted by the Sapmi. The team ended 10th.

Somaliland is an independent state at the Horn of Africa, which is not recognized by any other country. They declared sovereignity in 1991.

Somaliland has approximately 4 million inhabitants and another million of Somalilanders are estimated to live in diaspora, mainly in the Yemen, in Canada, the UK and the USA. Somalia still declares that Somaliland is an autonomous region of Somalia. Regardless of the official status of recognition Somaliland is de-facto independent and self-governed, and thus has an excellent reason to field an own national team.

The Somaliland Football Association was founded in 2011, and represents Somaliland and Somalilanders all around the world. The FA is currently managed by the Not4Gotten Foundation from London (England). The national team of Somaliland has played a couple of friendly matches (see below) during the last years, mainly within England and Greater London in particular.

The Székely Land is a historic and ethnographic area in Romania, inhabited mainly by the Székelys, a subgroup of the Hungarian people from eastern Transylvania. The Szekelyföld LE was established in 2014.

The United Koreans in Japan, sometimes also called «Zainichi Koreans», are the biggest minority in Japan today.

Both North and South Koreans, are part of this often discriminated diaspora minority. Most Koreans in Japan came to Japan in the early 20st century and are now living in Japan often in their 3rd or 4th generation. The approximately 900.000 «Zainichis» where, however, never assimilated, but are still considered «foreigners» in Japan.

Many Koreans in Japan speak a language that is neither South nor Northern Korean, but is often referred to as «Zainichi Korean».

The United Korean Football Association in Japan (UKFAJ) was founded 2015 and is lead by Mr Chong Gyong Ri. The team is a «spin off» of the club «FC Korea», that plays in the Japanese football league system and consists of only Korean players. Due to the fact that all players belong to the Korean minority in Japan, the club is not allowed to go further up in the League pyramid and thus is looking for a new challenge, which it found in ConIFA.

Western Armenia is the Western part of the Armenians Highlands, which is today lying in the territory of Turkey.

Western Armenians today live in diaspora all over the world and are united by their common heritage and their language – Western Armenian.

The Football Federation of Western Armenia (FFWA) was established in 2015.