SD are delighted to announce that Paul Watson from CONIFA will be giving the closing plenary at its Members’ Day this coming Sunday, 20th May.
Between 31 May and 9 June, CONIFA (Confederation of Independent Football Associations) is holding the 2018 Paddy Power World Football Cup in London. CONIFA is a politically neutral NGO run by volunteers with the desire to be 'FIFA for teams outside FIFA' – but with a focus on transparency and equality. CONIFA's aims are simple: we want everyone in the world to be able to enjoy and play football – no matter their race, religion, gender or politics.
In total, CONIFA now represents over 320 million people worldwide and amongst the more recognisable teams coming to London are Tibet and Panjab, whose diaspora community in the UK totals over 800,000 people which will ensure a warm welcome when they play their games at Slough Town FC.
Some of the teams amongst the 16 qualifiers have endured massive hardships to compete. The Kabylia team from Algeria had to play their games in secret for fear of police reprisals and when they qualified their FA president was arrested. Matabeleland in Zimbabwe are using football to repair the wounds of genocide. Tuvalu, a tiny Pacific island, will travel over 9,000 miles to get a chance to discuss the fact their island will be one of the first nations to be rendered uninhabitable by global warming.
The World Football Cup is a grassroots World Cup for real fans and it's happening at non-league stadiums all over London and the surrounding region.
Tickets are available now from Eventim. £10 for adults and £5 Under-18s in advance.
Paul was a journalist for Football Italia before he decided to find the world's worst national football team and play for them, fulfilling his childhood dream of getting a cap. The resulting quest was the subject of his book Up Pohnpei - the story of his bid to get the first ever win for a tiny Micronesian island which led him to join CONIFA as Commercial Director in 2016, charged with bringing the World Football Cup to London.
Sunday 20th May 2018
10:30 to 16:30
BVSC, Birmingham (a short walk from Birmingham New Street station)
Online registration (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sd-members-day-tickets-43929448162) closes at 9am on Thursday 16th May, however there will be a limited number of tickets available on the day. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.