International: Yorkshire IFA

The second episode of our new series looking at Non-Fifa Affiliated International teams has arrived and this time we aren’t travelling too far from home.

The Yorkshire International Football Association was set up on the 16th July 2017 and is associated with CONIFA footballing umbrella joining the federation on the 6th of January 2018.

In order to represent all of Yorkshire, ‘The Vikings’ have no home stadium and instead play home games around the county. The team has currently played 6 games in 5 different locations, and are set to host The Atlantic Heritage Cup this year should the tournament go ahead.

Yorkshire IFA was set up by a collection of like minded groups, from cultural, historical and sporting backgrounds, determined to raise the profile of the county, that hosts some of the proudest people in the world.

Upon the birth of the team, they had four objectives that they wanted to aim for, the first being to ‘Empower the Region’ something that the people of Yorkshire are known for is being proud of their home, this team gives them something to put that passion into. The second objective was to create a ‘Cultural Exchange’, basically to bring the things they love about Yorkshire and spread it globally and also embrace some other cultures and things that aren’t stereotypically ‘Yorkshire’. Penultimately the third objective is to ‘Raise The Profile’ of the White Rose county, and to build and help Yorkshire become an internationally renowned region to visit, invest in and to watch attractive, passionate football. Finally the county want to be competitive, the region is home to many great professional and non-league sides and many amazing players, so why not have the home of them all competeting at the top of the ‘beautiful game’.

With clear motives and targets, we can see a Yorkshire team being around for many years to come thanks to the volunteers both on and off the pitch who are very proud of their home county.

From everyone here at ‘ClimbingTheLadder’ we’d just like to wish Yorkshire good luck with the future, and we will see you this summer at your tournament this summer!

International: The Parishes of Jersey FC

With the football season being finished for the Summer break for the vast majority, we decided it was time to fill the gap with a new series.

As we’ve been going on about for a while now on Twitter, we are going to start looking at Non-Fifa affiliated national teams from across the globe, centered around CONIFA’s Atlantic Heritage Cup.

Given that, the first nation we are going to look at are The Parishes of Jersey.

A newly established side, the Parishes of Jersey team was founded in the summer of 2018 by former Jersey International James Scott following the Jersey Football Association’s unsuccessful attempt to join UEFA. After their application was rejected the island was invited to join CONIFA by general secretary Sascha Düerkop in June 2018 and just a couple of months later Jersey officially joined the organization after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Jersey Football Association.

Since forming, Jersey have already played their first game with a team of players based on the island, welcoming fellow CONIFA newcomers Yorkshire and the teams played out a friendly with Jersey won 2-1. One game, one win, not a bad start at all.

After playing their first game, Jersey have since put themselves in with a shot of attending the CONIFA World Cup in 2020 after announcing that they will be playing in the Atlantic Heritage Cup hosted by Yorkshire this summer, where the winner qualifies for the tournament in Matabeleland.

Everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’ would like to wish everyone in the parishes all the best for their upcoming games.

So What is the Atlantic Heritage Cup?

We keep banging on about covering the Atlantic Heritage Cup this summer, while all the Non-League sides we normally cover are on their summer break. But we realise that some people will have no clue what this tournament is, who’s playing and where it’s taking place.

The first ever non-FIFA home nations football tournament will take place in June 2019, hosted by Yorkshire International Football Association (YIFA), the tournament was set to feature Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man), Parishes of Jersey FC, and Kernow FA (Cornwall).

Since the original announcement was made, Ellan Vannin have withdrawn from the tournament, no official reasoning has been given for the withdrawal and at the moment of writing, the official plans haven’t been released.

Prioir to the withdrawal, the tournament was set to take place between the 31st May and the 2nd June, with fixtures split between Ingfield Stadium home of Ossett United and the CNG Stadium home of Harrogate Town.

The tournament is a qualifying competition for the CONIFA World Football Cup that will take place in Somaliland in 2020. The previous World Cup took place in London in 2018 and drew eyes and teams from around the globe, something we are sure will be the same this time around.

We will be at (fingers crossed) all the games, and we look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible, come and say hi!