Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Alternative World Cup: Not FIFA, But VIVA!


I'm back from my travels in Spain and happy to see them doing so well in the European Cup.

But what struck me today after almost two weeks away was this interesting article about an alternative World Cup from today's Guardian.

According to the article, this cup, dubbed the Viva World Cup is 'an inter-national competition designed for countries that remain unrecognized by FIFA'.

The tournament will take place in the wannabe nation of Sapmi (Lapland, more or less). The first match of the Viva World Cup 2008, Sapmi v Iraqi Kurdistan, kicks off on July 7 at 11pm. I wonder where I can watch this ... You think watching African football is hard. Try getting coverage of these games.

Anyways, the first Viva World Cup was held in 2006, but due to political arguments, logistical difficulties (the venue had to be switched from Northern Cyprus to Occitania) and visa problems, only four teams participated. This time there are five men's teams - the other three are Syriac, Padania and Provence - and two women's (Sapmi and Kurdistan).
MY POV:
WHO??

The tournament has been set up by the New Federations Board, established to represent nations which aren't recognized as sovereign states. Its members include Monaco (not to be confused with the club side), Tibet, Zanzibar, Somaliland, Romani Nation (representing Romani people around the world), South Moluccas, Rijeka (Croatia's third largest city, which was briefly a free state in the 1920s) and the Chagos Islands.

Some of the claims to independence are in deadly earnest (provisional member Chechnya, for example), while others are more fanciful. Even Sealand, a micronation set up in 1967 on an abandoned steel platform in the North Sea, six miles off Suffolk, fields a national team, though in their case they have appointed Danish side FC Vestbjerg to play on their behalf.

MY POV: This is just incredible stuff ... an alternative World Cup for countries not recognized by FIFA ... give them all the credit in the world. They believe they are countries, no matter what anyone says. Let's hope the Cup goes off without a hitch. And that Sealand puts on a good display against Monaco.


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