Non-FIFA international football

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

FIFA is the international governing body of association football, overseeing football globally and with running international representative matches. However, some international football takes place outside its purview. 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[edit]

Broadly-speaking, Non-FIFA national teams can be categorised as one of the following:


Teams representing eight small sovereign states (Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Monaco, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Marshall Islands and the Vatican City) have played international football but are not affiliated to FIFA. Kiribati and Tuvalu are Associate Members of Oceania Football Confederation but not its parent organisation.

The United Kingdom is represented in FIFA through its four constituent countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. During the 1940s and '50s, a United Kingdom national football team was assembled on a few occasions to play friendly matches which were not considered full internationals by FIFA.

Autonomous (or autonomy-seeking) regions and unrecognised states[edit]

A second category encompasses regions of larger nations which have a history of autonomy. They may have already achieved a degree of self-governance (for example the autonomous communities of Spain including Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country which usually play just one game a year, traditionally at Christmas), or be seeking it (like for example the historic French region of[[ Brittany Brittany). However, it is necessary to distinguish the Basque team from the others, as it has come to represent not just the Basque autonomous community of Spain, but the greater Basque region, also incorporating Navarre and the French Basque Country. The Republic of Srpska as a state entity with a high degree autonomy, has ever since it was established in 1992 had its own football federation and national teams Republika Srpska national football team who play friendly matches. The Dayton Peace Treaty recognizes it as constiutive part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in 2002 both FIFA and UEFA accepted FA Republic of Srpska as one of two cofounders of FA BIH.

Alternatively, some unrecognised states may have national teams. Some established members of FIFA still fall into this category, such as Chinese Taipei. Current non-FIFA heavyweights Northern Cyprus are the best example of this category of non-FIFA football team.

Regional associations[edit]

Several 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, who hold county status within The Football Association. These regional associations often enter representative teams into international non-FIFA matches.

Stateless people[edit]

Another group of teams are representative sides of ethnic groups that are without a home state, or are drawn from an ethnic diaspora. The Sami people of Lapland live in a distinct area of northern Fennoscandia, 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 represents the worldwide community of Esperanto speakers.


  • CSANF - Consejo Sul-Americano de Nuevas Federaciones: was its first continental confederation, for South America, established in 2007. Starting from its foundation until 2013 it is been connected with NF-Board, then from 2020 it is connected with WUFA. The CSANF is currently active.
  • 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.
  • UAFA- Union of Arab Football Associations : is the governing body of football in the Arab League.[2] Established in 1974, UAFA has 22 member associations.
  • WUFA - World Unity Football Alliance: from alliance's homepage: The World Unity Football Alliance is a collaborative effort between value-aligned teams with a mission to promote hope, opportunity, and universal human rights while celebrating the joy of bringing people together through the most beautiful of games: Football. Our united core values include empathy, compassion, equity, honesty, and respect for universal human rights. We work equitably together on projects, campaigns, and events that elevate the Alliance’s mission and values, and those of each of our teams. As of 2020, WUFA has 10 member associations.


  • IFU - International Football Union: a now-defunct and short lived football association established in 2009 and dissolved in 2010. It was located in Guimarães (Portugal) and 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. Members of this organization were Greenland and Zanzibar.
  • 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. The N.F. Board has been inactive since 2013 and is considered defunct.

Non-FIFA competitions[edit]

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[edit]


The FIFI Wild Cup[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

The first VIVA World Cup, organised by the N.F.-Board,[3] 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  Kurdistan Region
ConIFA World Football Cup[edit]
Host Nation Year Winners
 Sápmi 2014  County of Nice
 Abkhazia 2016  Abkhazia
 Barawa 2018  Kárpátalja
 North Macedonia 2020 N/A †

† 2020 CONIFA World Football Cup cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

The ELF Cup[edit]

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[edit]

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
 Gibraltar 2019 N/A †
 Guernsey 2021
 Orkney 2023

† Ynys Mon hosted an unofficial 2019 Inter Games Football Tournament as Gibraltar did not have enough pitches.[4] Ynys Mon won the men's tournament and Isle of Man won the women's.


European Football Cup[edit]

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.[5] 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  South Ossetia
The Europeada[edit]

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.[6]

Host Nation Year Winners
  Switzerland 2008  South Tyrol
 Germany 2012  South Tyrol
 Italy 2016  South Tyrol
 Slovenia 2021
Copa CSANF[edit]

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

Host Nation Year Winners
Bandera Juan Fernández.svg Juan Fernández Islands 2011 Bandera Juan Fernández.svg Juan Fernández Islands
 Argentina 2014 ArmeniaArgentina Armenian Argentine
CSANF 10th Anniversary Cup[edit]

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

Host Nation Year Winners
 Argentina 2017 ArmeniaArgentina Armenian Argentine
Copa ANPO[edit]

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.[7]

The N.F.-Board's South American governing body CONMEBOLNFIFA 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.[8]

Host Nation Year Winners
 Chile 2012  Easter Island
 Chile 2013 Huilliche flag.svg Huilliche[9]
 Chile 2015 Flag of the Mapuches.svg Mapuche[10]

Other tournaments[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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
 Gibraltar 2019 N/A †
 Guernsey 2021
 Orkney 2023

† Ynys Mon hosted an unofficial 2019 Inter Games Football Tournament as Gibraltar did not have enough pitches.[18]

VIVA World Cup[edit]

A women's football tournament to the VIVA World Cup is played from 2008 until 2010:

Host Nation Year Winners
 Sápmi 2008  Sápmi
 Gozo 2010  Padania
The Europeada[edit]

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

Host Nation Year Winners
 Italy 2016  South Tyrol
 Slovenia 2021

Youth Tournaments[edit]

A big number of friendlies are being played between youth selections with different restrictions (U-21, U-18, or U-16 for example) but still there are not any international or continental tournaments being held. 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[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Confederation of Independent Football Associations". CONIFA.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Football Associations Members of the N.F.-Board". N.F.-Board. Archived from the original on 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  4. ^ Ynys Mon to host unofficial 2019 'Island Games' football tournament
  5. ^ "European Football Cup: Padania 12th participant". 5 January 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  6. ^ "European Football Championship of the Autochthonous National Minorities". Europeana.
  7. ^ Laura Seelau; Ryan Seelau (22 June 2012). "Indigenous Focus: Copa ANPO 2012". I Love Chile News. Archived from the original on 25 June 2012.
  8. ^ "CSANF announce plans for second South American competition". Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Mapuche National Champion 2015 (Translation)". Radio Nuevo Mundo (in Spanish). 24 April 2015. coverage
  11. ^ "Non-FIFA Football Updates is back".
  12. ^ "Non-FIFA Football Updates - providing the latest news on the game outside FIFA's auspices".
  13. ^ "Graciosa Beach/Palmas/Tocantins (Translation)". Fundação Nacional do Índio (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2 April 2010.
  14. ^ "Eco-Sys Action Football Cup".
  15. ^ "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. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Tynwald Hill International Football Tournament home page". Tynwald Hill International Football Tournament. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Ynys Mon to host unofficial 2019 'Island Games' football tournament

External links[edit]