Non-FIFA football

Non-FIFA football

Despite FIFA's mandate to oversee the sport of football (soccer) worldwide, there is a thriving international scene outside of its , consisting of tournaments and matches between nations that have little or no international recognition and, therefore, little or no chance of being recognised by FIFA or its continental organisations.

Some of these nations have joined an umbrella organisation, the NF-Board, which organises matches and tournaments between its members, with the aim of working with FIFA as a temporary organisation for those nations before they acquire membership in FIFA.

"National" teams

Broadly-speaking, there are five categories of Non-FIFA national team:

Regional associations

The first, and most common, are 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, whose members are also members of the FA. The association, clubs, and people of these territories may be content to be a part of the larger network, yet may still enter representative teams into non-FIFA matches.

Autonomous (or autonomy-seeking) regions

A second category encompasses regions of larger nations which have a history of autonomy. They may have already achieved a degree of autonomy (Catalonia, for example), or be seeking it (like Rijeka). Some established members of UEFA once fell into this category, such as the Faroe Islands and Moldova. Current non-FIFA heavyweights Northern Cyprus are the best example of this category of non-FIFA football team. Also included are the representative sides of the Spanish autonomous regions, which currently play just one game a year, traditionally at Christmas.

tateless people

The third group of teams features representative sides drawn from ethnic groups that have yet to gain significant control over a home state, or drawn from an ethnic diaspora. The Sami people of Lapland live in a distinct area of northern Scandinavia, yet fall under the control of four states. Nevertheless, they have organised a football association, and a representative team. Similarly, the Roma people have been strewn across Europe for centuries, with little hope of ever gaining a homeland, yet they have a fledgling footballing organisation to represent them in international competition. While representative teams that fall under this category perhaps have the least hope of ever gaining full FIFA recognition, they can take comfort from the experience of the Palestinians who, despite having no recognised state and having to play all their games outside even Israel, have been welcomed into FIFA and the AFC.


Seven sovereign states (Vatican City, Monaco, Tuvalu, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru and Kiribati) are not affiliated to FIFA.


The final group of teams is composed by ethnic minorities in a state. For example: Armenians in Argentina, Albanians in Macedonia, Italians in Switzerland, and similar.


* NF-Board "New Federations Board": a football association established in 2003. It is made up of teams that represent nations that are not recognized as sovereign states and which are therefore not eligible to become members of FIFA, football's world governing body. The NF-Board organises the VIVA World Cup and the UNPO Cup.
* IGA "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.
* CSANF "Consejo Sudamericano de Nuevas Federaciones": formed in 2007 and affiliated to NF-Board, represents non-FIFA teams in South America.
* CENF "Confederation of European New Federations": formed in 2007 and affiliated to NF-Board, represents non-FIFA teams in Europe.
* FIFI "Federation of International Football Independents": formed in 2006, a football league that admits nations that are not recognized globally. It organises the FIFI Wild Cup.
* MFF "Micronational Football Federation": formed in 2007, aims to link and aid all micronations looking to establish national teams to play against each other in friendly games or organised competitions. The MFF is currently looking to establish and run the first ever Micronational World Cup.

Non-FIFA competitions

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.

International Competitions

The FIFI Wild Cup

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.
* Germany, 2006: Northern Cyprus

The UNPO Cup

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.
*Netherlands, 2005: South Moluccas

The KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup

The KTFF 50th Anniversary Cup was held under the auspices of the NF-Board, this tournament celebrated 50 years of the football association of Northern Cyprus, the KTFF, and featured representative sides from the host nation, the Sápmi, and Kosovo. Northern Cyprus triumphed in a round-robin tournament.
*Northern Cyprus, 2005: Northern Cyprus

The VIVA World Cup

The first VIVA World Cup, organised by the NF-Board, 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.
*Occitania, 2006: Sapmi
*Sapmi, 2008: Padania

The ELF Cup

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.
*Northern Cyprus, 2006: Northern Cyprus

Football at the Island Games

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. Many of the competing nations are affiliated to larger national FAs - the Jersey Football Association, for example, is governed by the FA.

*Rhodes, 2007: Gibraltar
*Shetland, 2005: Shetland
*Guernsey, 2003: Guernsey
*Isle of Man, 2001: Guernsey
*Gotland, 1999: Ynys Môn
*Jersey, 1997: Jersey
*Gibraltar, 1995: Isle of Wight
*Isle of Wight, 1993: Jersey
*Åland, 1991: Faroe Islands
*Faroe Islands, 1989: Faroe Islands

Coupe de l'Outre-Mer

The Coupe de l'Outre-Mer is organised by the FFF, took place in October 2008, in Paris, France. Are allowed to partecipate teams representing the eleven French Overseas Territories.
*France, 2008: Reunion

Continental Competitions

UEFA Regions Cup

The UEFA Regions Cup is a tournament for European regional amateur representative teams. Organized by UEFA to be held biannually with Qualifying Round.

*Veneto, 1999: Veneto
*Central Moravia, 2001: Central Moravia
*Germay, 2003: Piemonte
*Poland, 2005: Basque Region
*Bulgaria, 2007: Lower Silesia

The Europeada

The Europeada is a football tournament for Indigenous peoples 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.

*Switzerland, 2008: South Tyrol

Future non-FIFA tournaments

The 2009 Island Games

The 2009 Island Games are scheduled to take place in the Åland Islands in summer 2009.

The 2009 UEFA Regions Cup

The UEFA Regions Cup 2009 is scheduled to take place in 2009, with eight teams. The host will be known in late 2008. 41 teams will take part in the Qualifying Round which will start on 1st August 2008.

The 2009 CENF Cup

The CENF Cup 2009 will take place in Holland, in spring or summer 2009. Is organized by CENF and will involve non-Fifa European teams.

The 2010 FIFI Wild Cup

The 2010 FIFI Wild Cup is scheduled to take place in Greenland in 2010.

The 2010 Viva World Cup

The 2010 VIVA World Cup will take place in 2010, and the host will be known in December 2008. Padania, Gozo and Kurdistan have shown their interest to host it.

The 2010 Europeada

For the second edition of Europeada tournament, Europeada 2010, the regions of Lusatia and Alto Adige/South Tyrol have expressed their interest to host it.

Minor Tournaments

* Inter Island Cup played between Cocos Islands and Christmas Island in 1994, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2005.
* Micronesia Games played by Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Palau, Yap and Pohnpei in 1998.
* Micronesian Cup played between Micronesia and Northern Marianas Islands in 1999.
* Marianas Cup played between Guam and Northern Marianas Islands from 2007.
* Virgin Islands Championship played between islands of Virgin archipelago from 1997 to 2003.
* Inter Islands Competition played between Saba and Saint Eustatius in 2004 and 2006.
* Windward Islands Tournament played between St.Lucia, Grenada, Dominica and St.Vincent in 2001.
* Leeward Islands Tournament played between Caribbean islands from 1949 to 2002.
* Muratti Vase played between Guernsey, Alderney and Jersey from 1905 to 2007.
* GFA Tournament played in Gibraltar, with the host, Isle of Man and Isle of Wight in 2004.
* Tournoi des Iles played in Bretagne, with the host, Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana in 2003.
* Greenland Cups played between Greenland, Faroe Islands and Iceland from 1980 to 1984.
* North Atlantic Cup played between Orkney, Faroe Islands and Shetland from 1968 to 1963.
* Milne Cup annual tournament between Orkney and Shetland, played from 1919 to 2007.
* Adam Shield played between Faroe Islands and Shetland, from 1935 to 1967.
* Martinez Shield played between Trinidad Island, Barbados and Demerara (British Guyana), from 1923 to 1933.
* Tournoi Frantz Fanon between Martinique, Guadeloupe and Haiti, played in 2002.
* Tournoi du Cinquantenaire played between French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe, in 2003.
* Tournoi de Guadeloupe played between Guadeloupe and St.Lucia in 2006.
* Jeux Inter-Iles played between Wallis Island and Futuna Island in 2001.
* Chinese Championship played between Chinese regions, from 1973 to 1989.
* Chinese National Games played between Chinese regions, from 1959 to 1965.
* Santosh Trophy played between Indian States, from 1973 to 2006.
* DONER Trophy played between Indian States, in 2003 and 2004.
* South-West Counties Championship played between Cornwall, Guernsey and Jersey, and several other English counties from 1998 to 2007.
* Alex Oni Cup played between Igbo Nation, Edo Nation and Yoruba Nation, from 1950 to 1957.
* Brazilian State Championship played by Brazilian states from 1922 to 1987.

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 get FIFA membership played friendlies and international tournaments.

ee also

*List of non-national representative teams in men's football

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