International: The Falkland Islands

This article signals the end of our series looking into Non-FIFA International Football, as planning begins for the coming football season.

To wrap up the series we’ve decided to look at The Falkland Islands Official Football Team, the islands aren’t a member of CONMEBOL (The South American Football Confederation) and consequently aren’t a member of FIFA either.

The Falklands aren’t a member of CONMEBOL as the sovereignty of the Islands is disputed between the United Kingdom and Argentina and the majority if not all members of CONMEBOL support Argentina in this claim despite almost all Falklanders being in favour of remaining a UK Overseas Territory.

This therefore has lead to the only International competition that the Falklands have competed in outside of friendly fixtures being the Island Games. A competition that the Islands have competed in on seven different occasions, their record finish of 3rd coming in the 2013 edition of the games.

The Falklands in action at the 2011 Island Games

The long distance needed to travel, the expensive cost to travel on RAF and LAN flights and the need to take between 16–18 players usually prevents the Football team from attending the Island Games more often than every four years dependant on the where the games are being hosted. Due to the remoteness of the islands and the small population, the Stanley team can often only play military teams or visiting warships.

To everyone linked to The Falkland Islands everyone here at Climbing The Ladder would just like to wish you all the best for the future, and we cant wait to see you at the next Island Games you can attend.

International: Ynys Môn

As we continue our International Series, we think its only fair that we look at the hosts of the ongoing 2019 Inter Island Games Football Tournament Ynys Môn.

The Ynys Môn football team represents the island of Anglesey at the biannual Island Games. Ynys Môn is not a member of FIFA or UEFA, it is an island county within Wales and plays under the auspices of the Football Association of Wales, the governing body for football in Wales.

Anglesey is an island off the north coast of Wales with an area of 276 square miles. Anglesey is by far the largest island in Wales and the seventh largest in the British Isles. Anglesey is also the largest island in the Irish Sea by area, and the second most populous island after the Isle of Man.

Back to football now and The Anglesey League, comprising teams from Amlwch, Beaumaris, Holyhead, Menai Bridge, Llandegfan, and Llangefni, was formed in the 1895–1896 football season.

Tourism is the main economy on Anglesey so the hosting of a football tournament will be a great benefit to the local economy. The only reason that the tournament is being hosted on the island is because Gibralter the host of the 2019 Island Games where the football normally takes place couldn’t host a football tournament due to lack of football pitches.

The Huws Gray Ynys Môn, will be competed as a round robin tournament between three teams split into three groups followed by knock out ties. Alongside the mens tournament, a womens tournament will also be held featuring six different sides split into two groups.

From everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’ we’d just like to wish everyone all the best during the tournament.

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.