Non-FIFA international football

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FIFA is the international governing body of association football, charged with overseeing football globally and with running international representative matches. However, some international football takes place outside its ratification. This often consists of matches involving sub-national entities such as islands, colonies or autonomous regions. Representative matches also occur involving states with limited international recognition who are unable to qualify for FIFA membership. There are also a limited number of states whose representative teams are not affiliated to FIFA. Historically, a number of competitions occurred outside FIFA's auspices.

"National" teams

Broadly-speaking, there are five categories of Non-FIFA national team:


Eight sovereign states (Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, and the Vatican City) are not affiliated to FIFA.

Kiribati and Tuvalu are Associate Members of Oceania Football Confederation.

The following nations have national teams that have played matches outside FIFA: Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Monaco, and the Vatican City.

At present, Marshall Islands doesn't have any football team.

The United Kingdom is represented in FIFA through its four constituent countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Autonomous (or autonomy-seeking) regions and unrecognised states

A second category encompasses regions of larger nations which have a history of autonomy. They may have already achieved a degree of autonomy (Catalonia, Galicia or Basque Country, for example), or be seeking it. However, it is necessary to distinguish Basque Country from the others, as it represents all Basque Country, and not only the Autonomous Community of the same name Basque Country. Alternatively, some unrecognised states may have national teams. Some established members of UEFA once fell into this category, such as the Faroe Islands. Current non-FIFA heavyweights Northern Cyprus are the best example of this category of non-FIFA football team. Also included are the representative sides of the Spanish autonomous regions, which currently play just one game a year, traditionally at Christmas.

Regional associations

The first, and most common, are teams which represent the regional associations of established footballing nations. These oversee local football in their respective regions and are part of a network of associations that contribute to the national association as a whole. A good example of this would be Jersey, whose members are also members of the FA. These regional associations often enter representative teams into international non-FIFA matches.

Stateless people

The third group of teams features representative sides drawn from ethnic groups that have yet to gain significant control over a home state, or drawn from an ethnic diaspora. The Sami people of Lapland live in a distinct area of northern Scandinavia, yet fall under the control of four states. Nevertheless, they have organised a football association and a representative team. Similarly, the Romani people—having been strewn across Europe for centuries—have a fledgeling footballing organisation to represent them in international competition. Other stateless nations, such as the Palestinians have been welcomed into FIFA and the AFC despite having no recognised state. The Esperanto Football Team has been set up to represent the worldwide community of Esperanto speakers.


Another group of teams consist of ethnic minorities in a state.


  • N.F.-Board New Federations Board: a now-defunct football association established in 2003. It was made up of teams that represent nations that were not recognized as sovereign states and which are therefore not eligible to become members of FIFA, football's world governing body. The NF-Board organised the VIVA World Cup and the UNPO Cup. CSANF was its first continental confederation, for South America. The N.F. Board has been inactive since 2013 and is considered defunct.
  • CONIFA Confederation of Independent Football Associations: from confederations homepage: CONIFA is a global umbrella organization for all the football teams outside FIFA. There are more than 5,500 ethnicities around the world and hundreds of sportingly isolated regions that don't have an international arena to play international football. CONIFA welcome all registered Football Associations and teams to play. We organize the official World Championship for teams outside FIFA, Continental Championships, International tournament and Cups combined with Cultural Events and Youth Exchanges.[1]. As of 2018, ConIFA has more than 40 member associations.
  • IIGA International Island Games Association: formed in 1985, this is an organization with the sole purpose to organise the Island Games, a friendly biennial athletic competition (including football) between teams from several islands and other small territories.

Non-FIFA competitions

Football tournaments at international multi-sports events, such as the Olympics, Pan-American Games and Francophone games are without FIFA's jurisdiction, but are, for the most part, operated with the acknowledgement of that body. These events typically involve age restricted teams, to avoid direct competition with the World Cup and continental championships.

Men's tournaments


The FIFI Wild Cup

The FIFI Wild Cup was organised by the German football club St. Pauli in the summer of 2006. It took place while the FIFA World Cup was being played in Germany, and aimed to raise awareness of stateless nations. Five nations took part, along with a team representing the St Pauli district of Hamburg. Northern Cyprus beat Zanzibar on penalties to win the trophy.

Host Nation Year Winners
 Germany 2006  Northern Cyprus
The UNPO Cup

The UNPO Cup was organised by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization and NF-Board, and took place in The Hague in June 2005. The tournament, which coincided with UNPO's 7th General Assembly, and featured four teams. The South Moluccas won the cup, beating Chechnya in the final.

Host Nation Year Winners
 Netherlands 2005  South Moluccas
The VIVA World Cup

The first VIVA World Cup, organised by the N.F.-Board,[2] took place in Occitania in November 2006. Six nations initially accepted invitations, but eventually, only 3 took part, the hosts, Monaco and Saami, the eventual winners. The second edition took place in Lapland in 2008 and Padania emerged as winners, as the third in 2009 where Padania won the tournament at home.

Host Nation Year Winners
 Occitania 2006  Sápmi
 Sápmi 2008  Padania
 Padania 2009  Padania
 Gozo 2010  Padania
 Iraqi Kurdistan 2012  Iraqi Kurdistan
ConIFA World Football Cup
Host Nation Year Winners
 Sápmi 2014  County of Nice
 Abkhazia 2016  Abkhazia
 Barawa 2018  Kárpátalja
The ELF Cup

The ELF Cup, organised by the KTFF, took place in November 2006, in Northern Cyprus. Eight teams accepted invitations to take part, and the hosts emerged as winners.

Host Nation Year Winners
 Northern Cyprus 2006  Northern Cyprus
Football at the Island Games

The Island Games, which are held every two years, features a competitive football tournament, won on the first two occasions by now-established UEFA and FIFA member, the Faroe Islands, and again in 2007 by now UEFA members, Gibraltar. Many of the competing nations are affiliated to larger national FAs - the Jersey Football Association, for example, is governed by the FA.

Host Nation Year Winners
 Faroe Islands 1989  Faroe Islands
 Åland 1991  Faroe Islands
 Isle of Wight 1993  Jersey
 Gibraltar 1995  Isle of Wight
 Jersey 1997  Jersey
 Gotland 1999  Ynys Môn
 Isle of Man 2001  Guernsey
 Guernsey 2003  Guernsey
 Shetland 2005  Shetland
 Rhodes 2007  Gibraltar
 Åland 2009  Jersey
 Isle of Wight 2011  Isle of Wight
 Bermuda 2013  Bermuda
 Jersey 2015  Guernsey
 Gotland 2017  Isle of Man


European Football Cup

The ConIFA European Football Cup was played in Douglas, the Isle of Man. The host place of the tournament was moved to London, England, and then to Székely Land, Romania. The tournament took place from the 13th till the 21st of June, 2015. It was the first ever European Championship between representative teams outside FIFA. The 12 representative teams: Ellan Vannin, County of Nice, Abkhazia, Nagorno Karabakh, South Ossetia, Occitania, Romani People, Franconia, Sapmi, Northern Cyprus, Szekely Land and Padania.[3] Subsequently, 3 teams (Franconia, Monaco, Nagorno-Karabakh) cancelled their participation for the 2015 ConIFA European Football Cup in Hungary, which forced the originally planned schedule to be revised. The presence of a total of nine teams led to three groups of three being formed. In May 2015, Occitania also announced their withdrawal from the competition, which led to another revision of the match schedule into two groups of four, which ConIFA based upon their ranking points system. In June 2015, another three teams, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Northern Cyprus, were all forced to withdraw, as a result of visa difficulties, while the Felvidek team was added to the line up - leaving two groups of three and six participants in total.

Host Nation Year Winners
 Székely Land 2015  Padania
 Northern Cyprus 2017  Padania
 Artsakh 2019
Euroviva Cup

The official announcement of Euroviva Cup 2017™ in Vichy. Dates: From Sunday 10th to Sunday 17 December 2017. Tournament format: 10 representative teams from Europe.[4]

The Europeada

The Europeada is a football tournament for indigenous and national minorities in Europe, and is organized by the Federal Union of European Nationalities. The first edition was played in 2008 in Surselva, Switzerland.[5]

Host Nation Year Winners
  Switzerland 2008  South Tyrol
 Germany 2012  South Tyrol
 Italy 2016  South Tyrol
 Slovenia 2020

The Copa CSANF is a football tournament for football federations not admitted to FIFA in South America. Is organized by the Consejo Sudamericano de Nuevas Federaciones. The first edition was played in 2011 in Chile.

Host Nation Year Winners
 Chile 2011 Bandera Juan Fernandez.jpg Juan Fernandez Islands
 Chile 2017 Flag of the Mapuches.svg Mapuche
CSANF 10th Anniversary Cup

The CSANF 10th Anniversary Cup is a tournament to celebrate the 10 years of the creation of the Consejo Sudamericano de Nuevas Federaciones.

Host Nation Year Winners
 Argentina 2017 Flag of Armenia.svgFlag of Argentina.svg Armenian Argentine

The Campeonato Nacional de Futbol Pueblos Originarios (Copa ANPO) is a football tournament for the indigenous peoples of South America, and is organized by the Asociación Nacional de Pueblos Originarios. The inaugural tournament was played in 2012 in Chile. Campeonato de futbol Pueblos Originarios Asociacion Andina de Futbol Liga Andina Arica Facebook page on Facebook played among six teams. Three teams come from the Mapuche people – the largest indigenous population in Chile. There is a Mapuche team, a Pewenche team (which is the term used for Mapuche populations living in the mountainous regions of Chile), and a Warriache team (composed of Mapuche individuals from the city). In addition, there is one Aymara team, one Lican Antay (or Atacameño) team, and one Rapa Nui team.[6]

The N.F.-Board's South American governing body CSANF have announced a preliminary date for the second Indigenous Peoples' Championship. Set for Santiago in Chile from August 5–10, 2013, the sides hoped to compete are Easter Island, Mapuche, Aymara, LikanAntay, Diaguita, Kolla, Quechua and a combined Yaghan-Kawesqar team.[7]

Host Nation Year Winners
 Chile 2012  Easter Island
 Chile 2013 Huilliche flag.svg Huilliche[8]
 Chile 2015 Flag of the Mapuches.svg Mapuche[9]

Other tournaments

Some non-FIFA teams play in other tournaments generally played by FIFA members, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Indian Ocean Games, CECAFA Cup, South Pacific Games, Coupes des Caraibes, Shell Caribbean Cup, CFU Championship and many more.

Moreover, many teams, before obtaining FIFA membership, played friendlies and international tournaments - for example, the Faroe Islands.

Women Tournaments

Across a discreet number of minor tournaments, the only three main international football tournaments for women are the Women's VIVA World Cup, the Europeada and the Island Games.

Island Games

A women's football tournament to the Island Games is played from 2001 edition:

Host Nation Year Winners
 Isle of Man 2001  Faroe Islands
 Guernsey 2003  Faroe Islands
 Shetland 2005  Faroe Islands
 Rhodes 2007  Åland Islands
 Åland 2009  Åland Islands
 Isle of Wight 2011  Åland Islands
 Bermuda 2013  Bermuda
 Jersey 2015  Jersey
 Gotland 2017  Gotland

VIVA World Cup

A women's football tournament to the VIVA World Cup is played from 2008 edition:

Host Nation Year Winners
 Sápmi 2008  Sápmi
 Gozo 2010  Padania

The official announcement of the 2nd edition of the Women VIVA World Cup 2018® in Vichy. Dates: From Sunday 3rd to Sunday 10 June 2018. Tournament format: 12 teams (6 football continents represented)[4]

The Europeada

A women's football tournament to the Europeada is played from the 2016 edition:

Host Nation Year Winners
 Italy 2016  South Tyrol
 Slovenia 2020

Youth Tournaments

A big number of friendlies are played between youth selections with different restrictions (U-21, U-18, or U-16 for example) but still does not exists any international or continental tournaments. Only a little number of minor tournaments are played for youth selections: one of them, and probably one of the most important, is Muratti Vase who is played for U-21, U-18, U-15.

Club Tournaments

Despite the fact many non-FIFA associations have their own league, there are no international or continental club tournaments.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Confederation of Independent Football Associations". CONIFA.
  2. ^ "Football Associations Members of the N.F.-Board". N.F.-Board.
  3. ^ "European Football Cup: Padania 12th participant". 5 January 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Press Conference + Press Release NFB (MAY 21st 2017)" (PDF).
  5. ^ "European Football Championship of the Autochthonous National Minorities". Europeana.
  6. ^ Laura Seelau; Ryan Seelau (22 June 2012). "Indigenous Focus: Copa ANPO 2012". I Love Chile News. Archived from the original on 25 June 2012.
  7. ^ "CSANF announce plans for second South American competition". Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  8. ^ Jose Molina (10 August 2013). "Williche was crowned champion of the 2nd.Torneo de Fútbol de Pueblos Originarios, developed in Limache (Translation)". Diario Crónica page (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Mapuche National Champion 2015 (Translation)". Radio Nuevo Mundo (in Spanish). 24 April 2015. coverage
  10. ^ "Non-FIFA Football Updates is back".
  11. ^ "Non-FIFA Football Updates - providing the latest news on the game outside FIFA's auspices".
  12. ^ "Graciosa Beach/Palmas/Tocantins (Translation)". Fundação Nacional do Índio (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2 April 2010.
  13. ^ "Eco-Sys Action Football Cup".
  14. ^ "Communication from the Quebec team for its participation in the Tournament of Peoples, Cultures and Tribes (Translation)". (in French). 30 May 2013. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Tynwald Hill International Football Tournament home page". Tynwald Hill International Football Tournament. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013.
  16. ^ Karen Riquelme (8 August 2013). "Chile's Indigenous Football Tournament Kicks Off in Limache". I Love Chile News. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.

External links

  • Non-FIFA Football Updates
  • Non-FIFA Cups on RSSSF
  • Island Games on RSSSF
  • UEFA Regions' Cup on RSSSF
  • Outcasts! The Lands That FIFA Forgot
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