Football in Berkshire
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5 things we’ve learned about the CONIFA World Cup

We’ve spent the last few days reading through the CONIFA website ahead of the World Cup in London and East Berkshire, here’s what we learned

5 things we’ve learned about the CONIFA World Cup

Last week the frankly brilliant news was announced via the Bracknell Town FC twitter account that Larges Lane would welcome the CONIFA World Cup to Berkshire.

As the club confirmed, there are to be four matches staged at Larges Lane in the tournament that runs from 31st May to 9th June and is a bi-annual tournament for non FIFA affiliated nations and peoples.

The favourites

Of course there’s a World Ranking. Leading the way as of January 2o18 are 2016 finalists Panjab on 1401 points, Padania are second on 1384 points and Northern Cyprus third on 1364

According to the documentation this ranking is tallied up from 39,000 matches between FIFA members, ex members and teams outside FIFA. Ultimately it all looks very complicated but we’ll stick our necks out and say Panjab are probably odds on.

Yorkshire have a team

Sadly for our Bracknell Sunday League man Tony Hardy they aren’t competing having only joined CONIFA in January.

They do have an active Twitter account @yorksifa and they played Chagos Islands at the weekend.

There’s a brilliant Paddy Power ad to promote the competition

Fair play to Sol Campbell. Paddy Power are the tournament sponsors.

The reigning champions

The last tournament was held in Abkhazia, a disputed territory on the eastern coast of he Black Sea in North Western Georgia in 2016.

The hosts were crowned champions, beating Panjab 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

Abkhazia lift the CONIFA World Cup on home soil in 2016.

Abkhazia lift the CONIFA World Cup on home soil in 2016.

The first tournament in Sweden in 2014 was also concluded on penalties. The County of Nice beating Isle of Man side Ellan Vannin 5-3 after a goalless 90 minutes.

Why the tournament is in England

Good question, it turns out the Barawa FA who were chosen as tournament hosts represent Somalians in UK. It was announced in September 2017 that London would host the competition.

Tickets for the CONIFA World Cup matches at Bracknell are on sale now as well as tickets for all the other matches.

Main image: Abkhazia fans celebrate their 2016 win.

Tom Canning

Tom is the co-editor of Football in Berkshire. He has played at the lowest possible level of football. In real life Tom works for Reach PLC. Former manager of Binfield Ladies in the Thames Valley Women's League.

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