International: Panjab FA

The latest edition of of Non-Fifa International series is here and today we are covering Panjab FA.

Founded in 2014, The Panjab Football Team which is run by the Panjab Football Association was formed in in the United Kingdom and represents the Punjabi Diaspora from all over the globe. The Punjab region which the team represents is an area that stretches across parts of eastern Pakistan and northern India, and the association has aligned itself within the boundaries of this area, as represented by the Sikh Empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the 19th century.

Credit: Goal.com

In their short history Panjab have played in a number of monumental fixtures and continue to break barriers and create opportunities for people in their community. Some of these fixtures include games against Burton Albion, Liverpool FC U23’s and the England C team.

Since their formation, Panjab have also joined ConIFA, the Confederation for Independant Football Associations, competing at two ConIFA World Cup’s finishing Runners Up in their first tournament during 2016 and a commendable 5th place during the 2018 tournament.

Panjab according to Chairman Harpeet Singh, are a “sleeping community in sport” and its one of the associations goals to awaken this sleeping giant. The Panjab team is made up of mostly semi-pro players from multiple leagues in the English Non-League system, however following the teams success at the ConIFA World Cup in 2016 three players were invited to trial at Notts County. This just shows what a great asset to the Panjab community this team is and will continue to be.

From everyone here at Climbing The Ladder, we hope that you continue on your great journey for years to come, and achieve all your goals whatever they may be.

International: Tuvalu

Back to the International series now and today we are looking at the unusual case of Tuvalu.

Tuvalu is a small island country in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, situated about halfway between Hawaii and Australia with a population of around 11,000 and has a total land area of around 10 square miles. Tuvalu is a member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations.

Back to football now and despite its small size, Tuvalu is football mad, the country has two division and 14 different clubs sides alongside its International team, however due to its small size there is only one football pitch on the islands.

Training on Tuvalu

The Tuvalu National Team is a member of the OFC and was founded in 1979, the Oceania Football Confederation one of the six big confederations that overlooks world football, despite this however at present Tuvalu aren’t members of FIFA mainly due to their lack of a regulation pitch. The Tuvalu Football Association continues to seek membership of FIFA with the Dutch Support Tuvalu Foundation assisting Tuvalu with the FIFA application and with the development of football in Tuvalu.

Whilst they still seek FIFA membership, Tuvalu are members of ConIFA and have been since 2016, and as members competed at the 2018 CONIFA World Cup in London, finishing 15th out of 16 nations.

Tuvalu at the 2017 Pacific Mini Games

History was made in 2007 when Tuvalu became the first non FIFA member to participate in an official World cup qualifying match. The situation arose when the regional governing body used the 2007 South Pacific Games, as the first stage of the qualification tournament for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and qualification tournament for the 2008 OFC Nations Cup. Tuvalu performed with great credit, earning a remarkable 1–1 draw with Tahiti in which Viliamu Sekifu became as the first World cup scorer for his country.

Despite their complicated relationship with FIFA, we hope that one day Tuvalu can realise their dream and join FIFA.

International: South Ossetia

The latest of our International series is here, and we think its only fair after their recent achievements that we look at newly crowned ConIFA SportsBetIO European Football Champions South Ossetia.

Ossetia is an independent state north of Georgia and south of Russia, which is only recognized by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Tuvalu and other unrecognized nations.

They declared sovereignity in 1992 and were first registered in 2008 by Russia. Whilst Georgia until today declares that South Ossetia is a part of Georgia. Regardless of the official status of recognition South Ossetia is de-facto independent and self-governed.

Credit: CONIFA

Back to football now and the Football Federation of the Republic of South Ossetia (FFRSO) was established in 1997, however prior to the ConIFA World Cup they finished 4th in during 2014 the South Ossetia National Team had only played two friendly fixtures.

Its therefore amazing that in their short period of actually competeing on an international stage, South Ossetia yesterday won the ConIFA European Football Championship 2019, defeating Western Armenia 1-0 with the South Ossetian goalkeeper saving a penalty that was the last kick of the game.

With a championship and a fourth place finish at their last two International tournaments, its clear that South Ossetia look set to become a Non-Fifa football powerhouse alongside the likes of Northern Cyprus and The Catalan Region.

Everyone here at Climbing The Ladder would like to wish South Ossetia all the best for the future and congratulations on being european champions.

International: Northern Cyprus

Today’s episode of our non-FIFA international series is based on somewhat of a powerhouse of the non-Fifa international game, Northern Cyprus.

Officially named the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the region is a de facto state that comprises the northeastern portion of the island of Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the international community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus.

Northern Cyprus extends from the tip of the Karpass Peninsula in the northeast to Morphou Bay, Cape Kormakitis and its westernmost point, the Kokkina exclave in the west. Its southern most point is the village of Louroujina. A buffer zone under the control of the United Nations stretches between Northern Cyprus and the rest of the island and divides Nicosia, the island’s largest city and capital of both sides.

Back to football now and as we previously mentioned, Northern Cyprus are one of the sides to beat in the Non-FIFA game. The team have won a whole host of competitions since their founding in 1955 such as the FIFI World Cup, which was ran by NF-Board which was an organization for de-facto nations, states anybody non-Fifa affiliated. Northern Cyprus also won the ELF Cup which was run by the organization.

The team are currently members of ConIFA and are one of the best teams in the organization, sitting near the top of their world rankings with an ELO rating that would see them 93rd in the world if they were FIFA affiliated, Northern Cyprus have also finished 3rd and 2nd in the last two CONIFA World Cups.

Northern Cyprus are also hosted ConIFA’s first ever womens football match, they played a home match against the Sapmi national team, unfortuately losing 4-0, however what a step foward for the organization in what we are sure will be the first of many.

The Northern Cyprus team after a 3-2 win (Credit: Sky Sports)

From everyone here at Climbing The Ladder we’d just like to wish everyone at Northern Cyprus all the best for the future.

International: Cascadia

It was announced just hours ago that in July of this year, the first ever CONIFA game on North American soil will take place, with Darfur United travelling to take on Cascadia. With this we thought we’d take a look at both participants and up first the home side, Cascadia.

Founded by the Cascadia Association Football Federation (CAFF) in 2012, the mission statement is made very clear by those involved with the organization, that they want to allow Cascadia with its unique cultural identity, isolated bioregion and growing society to be represented at an international level.

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The Cascadia Jersey

Its also been made very clear by the organization that Cascadia football is not a political tool, it’s mission is entirely cultural and sport focused.

As Cascadia crosses international boundaries, from the US States of Oregon and Washington to the Canadian Province of British Columbia and the fact it is wholly part of either Canada or the United States, means that Cascadia will never become part of FIFA or any other Federation other than ConIFA or similair organization. Despite this, in the past CAFF has expressed interest in co-existing as a regional representative team, of which there are many across the globe.

Since its founding, Cascadia has featured in one CONIFA World Cup, the 2018 tournament hosted by Barawa in London. At the tournament the North Americans had a mixed bag of results before eventually finishing 6th out of 16 teams, not a bad result for their first attempt.

In their latest squad, Cascadia or the ‘Dougies’ had players from across the globe wanting to represent them, from the UK, Denmark, Cyprus and from the United States. It says alot about just how proud people are of their home region and what it stands for that they would be willing to travel half way across the globe to play for them.

Everyone here at Climbing The Ladder would just like to wish everyone at Cascadia and CAFF all the best for the future and good luck in your first game in North America.