Full 16-team line-up for World Football Cup unveiled

By David Owen

January 5 – The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) has disclosed the full list of qualifiers for this year’s edition of the World Football Cup.

Taking their places alongside holders Kárpátalja will be a further 15 teams from around the world, ranging from Kernow (Cornwall) and Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man) in the British Isles to the Chagos Islands, a British overseas territory in the Indian Ocean whose population was evicted to make way for a military base. While most qualifiers are linked to a continent or region, the Chagos are said to have been given a ‘global ticket’.

CONIFA describes itself as the football federation for all associations outside FIFA. The 2020 event will be the fourth staging of the World Football Cup. It will be hosted by Skopje, capital of the Republic of North Macedonia. The third edition in 2018 was held in and around London.

In all, nine of the 16 participants from 2018 are set to return. CONIFA has served notice, however, that there is a full reserve list “in case any of the qualified teams can no longer attend”. Participation is said to be dependent on “each team paying its CONIFA membership fee by the deadline, and signing a tournament contract”.

The full list of current qualifiers is as follows: Africa (4) – Matabeleland, Kabylia, Darfur, Western Sahara; Asia (3) – Tamil Eelam, Panjab, United Koreans in Japan; Europe (5) – South Ossetia, Western Armenia, Kernow, Ellan Vannin, Kárpátalja; North America (1) – Cascadia; Oceania (1) – Australian First Nations; South America (1) – Mapuche; Global ticket (1) – Chagos Islands.

The competition is scheduled to take place between May 30 and June 7. Kárpátalja, from eastern Europe, lifted the trophy in 2018 by beating Northern Cyprus on penalties in the final.

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