The CONIFA Paddy Power World Football Cup has been in full flow this week, and with the group stages and quarter-finals already complete, London is getting set for the final at Enfield Town FC on Saturday 9thJune.
CONIFA represents independent football associations from de-facto nations, regions, minorities and sports-isolated territories, and the tournament has received worldwide coverage so far.
There are four teams remaining in the knockout stages in the competition, whilst placement matches continue for the teams already eliminated.
The four teams looking to battle it out for a place in Saturday’s final are…
Szekely Land is an historic ethnographic area in Romania, consisting of a subgroup of Hungarian people from eastern Transylvania. They have a strong Hungarian following in London, and have been backed by both vocal and visual support so far.
They impressed in the quarter-final against Western Armenia with a convincing 4-0 victory, so could be dark horses to reach the final as they face Karpatalya in the semi-final.
It promises to be an exciting semi-final with an electric atmosphere as two Hungarian sides line up against each other. Karpatalya are the Hungarian minority in Ukraine, with a population of over 150,000. Their vast population means they are the seventh-biggest diaspora in the world.
Karpatalya were late additions to the tournament, replacing Felvidek and, considering their reduced preparation time, have been excellent additions. They beat Cascadia 3-1 in the quarter-finals to progress to the final four.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is an independent de-facto nation. Their history in football stretches back to 1980, with their participation in the 1980 Islamic Games, whilst hosting the CONIFA ELF Cup in 2006.
They registered the result of the round, beating Barawa 8-0 in the quarter-finals. They are one of the favourites to win the tournament now!
Padania have been one of the favourites throughout and their consistent results so far have only reinforced this notion. Padania is an alternative name for the Pado Valley in northern Italy and are the first Football Association to promote football in the Pado Valley.
They have won all of their games so far, with the influence of former Valencia, Sampdoria and Lazio defender Marius Stankevicius amongst their ranks.
The final at Enfield Town Football Club promises to be a fantastic occasion and gives you the opportunity to support some independent football associations that are not affiliated with FIFA. Go to www.conifa.orgfor more information and to buy your tickets!
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