2018 CONIFA World Football Cup
|Host country|| Barawa (official)|
|Dates||31 May – 9 June|
|Venue(s)||10 (in 3 host cities)|
|Champions||Kárpátalja (1st title)|
|Fourth place||Székely Land|
|Goals scored||158 (3.85 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Kamaljit Singh (6 goals)|
The 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup was the third edition of the CONIFA World Football Cup, an international football tournament for states, minorities, stateless peoples and regions unaffiliated with FIFA organised by CONIFA. The tournament was hosted by Barawa Football Association, with all games held in and around London. The tournament was sponsored by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power. After being a late entry to the tournament, Kárpátalja won their first title on 9 June 2018, defeating Northern Cyprus 3–2 on penalties in the final (0–0 after 90 minutes).
In June 2017, at the CONIFA meeting held during the 2017 CONIFA European Football Cup, it was announced that the Barawa Football Association had been selected to act as the host for the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup. However, under CONIFA's criteria, the "host" is the CONIFA member that heads the organising committee for the tournament, which does not necessarily mean that it needs to be played in the host's territory. Barawa is located in Somalia, but the Barawa FA represents members of the Somali diaspora in England.
The first two CONIFA World Football Cup tournaments both featured no more than two venues each; the 2014 tournament featured all games played at the same stadium, while the 2016 edition had a stadium in each of two cities. The expansion from twelve to sixteen participants in 2018 saw a significant expansion in the number of venues used, with a total of ten selected in four separate towns and cities - of these, seven were located in Greater London itself, two were in the towns of Slough and Bracknell in Berkshire, and one in the borough of Thurrock in Essex.
|Gander Green Lane||Hayes Lane||Queen Elizabeth II Stadium||Coles Park|
|Capacity: 5,000||Capacity: 5,000||Capacity: 2,500||Capacity: 2,500|
|Greater London||Greater London|
|Colston Avenue||St Paul's Sports Ground|
|Capacity: 5,000||Capacity: 1,000|
|Bedfont Recreation Ground||Parkside|
|Capacity: 3,000||Capacity: 3,500|
|Larges Lane||Arbour Park|
|Capacity: 2,500||Capacity: 2,000|
The process of qualification for the World Football Cup was originally laid out in a set of criteria published by CONIFA at its 2017 annual general meeting, which goes into the various ways by which teams can qualify. This was subsequently revised by CONIFA in June 2017.
- Host - Providing at least 10 places are available for other qualifiers, then all hosts will qualify automatically. If there are less than 10 other places available, then the number of automatic host places is calculated by the total number of places in the tournament minus 10.
- World Football Cup Holder - The current holder of the World Football Cup qualifies automatically.
- Wild Card - CONIFA's Executive Committee issues a Wild Card place to a team that has not yet qualified for the WFC no later than 9 months prior to the start of the tournament. The committee also has the right to issue a second Wild Card if approved by CONIFA's Annual General Meeting.
- Qualification tournament - Any member of CONIFA has the right to request that a tournament it hosts be sanctioned as a qualifier, providing it is held between 1 January of the year of the previous WFC, and 31 December of the year before the next WFC, and consists of at least four CONIFA members. The request to have the tournament sanctioned as a qualifier must be submitted at least two months prior to the start, and must be approved by CONIFA's Executive Committee.
- Continental tournament - If a CONIFA continental championship is held after the previous WFC, then a number of its participants qualify for the WFC; the total qualifiers is worked out by the number of participants in the tournament divided by 4.
- Qualification points - Remaining places are distributed according to the final positions in the various CONIFA continental rankings according to their accumulated ranking points. If two or more teams have the same number of qualification points, qualification will be determined by the CONIFA World Rankings.
|Opposition Factor (OF)||Result Factor (RF)|
|CONIFA Member = 3||Win = 3|
opposition = 2
|Draw = 2|
|Any other opposition = 1||Defeat = 1|
|Points for a single match = OF × RF|
By the criteria set out, the qualification process began in January 2016, when Western Armenia played its first official game against the reserve team of the French club Olympique de Marseille. The first team to qualify automatically was Tamil Eelam, by winning the single match CONIFA Challenger Cup against the Romani people in March 2016. Following this, two further, multi-team competitions were awarded qualification status by CONIFA, the Hungary Heritage Cup, played between four CONIFA members representing the Hungarian diaspora, and the World Unity Cup, which was a tournament containing teams representing a number of displaced peoples. The winners of both of these tournaments were guaranteed qualification for the World Football Cup.
|Tamil Eelam||Asia||ConIFA Challenger Cup winners||13 March 2016||2nd||2014||Placement round (2014)|
|Abkhazia||Europe||ConIFA World Football Cup winners||6 June 2016||3rd||2016||Winners (2016)|
|Felvidék||Europe||Hungary Heritage Cup winners||3 August 2016||1st||N/A||N/A||Subsequently withdrew|
|Western Armenia||Asia||Wild card||14 January 2017||2nd||2016||Quarter-final (2016)|
|Barawa||Africa||Host||8 June 2017||1st||N/A||N/A|
|Tibet||Asia||Wild card||8 June 2017||1st||N/A||N/A|
|Kiribati||Oceania||Regional qualification||8 June 2017||1st||N/A||N/A||Subsequently withdrew|
|Cascadia||North America||Regional qualification||8 June 2017||1st||N/A||N/A|
|Padania||Europe||ConIFA European Football Cup winners||10 June 2017||3rd||2016||4th place (2016)|
|Northern Cyprus||Europe||ConIFA European Football Cup runners-up||10 June 2017||2nd||2016||3rd place (2016)|
|Panjab||Asia||Regional qualification||2 September 2017||2nd||2016||2nd place (2016)|
|United Koreans in Japan||Asia||Regional qualification||2 September 2017||2nd||2016||Quarter-final (2016)|
|Matabeleland||Africa||Regional qualification||2 September 2017||1st||N/A||N/A|
|Kabylia||Africa||Regional qualification||2 September 2017||1st||N/A||N/A|
|Ellan Vannin||Europe||Regional qualification||2 September 2017||2nd||2014||2nd place (2014)|
|Székely Land||Europe||Regional qualification||2 September 2017||2nd||2016||Placement round (2016)|
|Tuvalu||Oceania||Replacement||7 March 2018||1st||N/A||N/A||Replaced Kiribati|
|Kárpátalja||Europe||Replacement||4 May 2018||1st||N/A||N/A||Replaced Felvidék|
In December 2017, the sixteen participating teams were seeded into four pots of four for the group stage draw, based on the ConIFA rankings. The draw for the group stage was held on 6 January 2018 in Northern Cyprus.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
In March 2018, ConIFA announced that, owing to financial difficulties, the Kiribati team had been forced to withdraw from the tournament, with their place taken by Tuvalu. In May 2018, it was announced that the Felvidék team had withdrawn, to be replaced by Kárpátalja.
ConIFA announced a total of 28 referees for the tournament, led by former Premier League official Mark Clattenburg. During the tournament, referees used a third card in addition to the red and yellow; the green card, introduced as a concept by the tournament sponsor Paddy Power, was issued to players either for dissent or diving; a player given a green card was required to be substituted immediately.
|Alan Martinez||United States|
|James Turpin||Isle of Man|
|Denis Pérez González||Spain|
|Andrew Mario Parody||Gibraltar|
|Fehim Dayı||Northern Cyprus|
|Barawa||3||2||0||1||7||4||+3||6||Advance to quarter-finals|
|Ellan Vannin||3||2||0||1||6||3||+3||6||Advance to placement round|
Lucien 30' (pen.), 80' (pen.)
|Report||Vidyuth 19', 78'|
|Bettamer 9'||Report||Doughty 35'
|Ellan Vannin||2–0||Tamil Eelam|
|Report||Nouble 10' (pen.), 87'
Hayden-Smith 32', 71'
|Kárpátalja||3||2||1||0||8||2||+6||7||Advance to quarter-finals|
|Abkhazia||3||1||1||1||5||4||+1||4||Advance to placement round|
I. Sándor 90+8'
|Turan 2', 67'
Argun 90' (pen.)
G. Sándor 36' (pen.)
Takács 42', 77'
|Padania||3||3||0||0||17||2||+15||9||Advance to quarter-finals|
|Matabeleland||3||1||0||2||4||12||−8||3||Advance to placement round|
|Innocenti 10', 45'
Piantoni 39', 42'
|Fülöp 31' (pen.)
Magyari 42', 54'
|Corno 8', 12', 38'
Valente 32', 44', 89'
|Timuani 27'||Report||S. Ndlovu 25', 38'
Mlalazi 90+1' (pen.)
|Western Armenia||3||1||2||0||5||1||+4||5||Advance to quarter-finals|
|United Koreans in Japan||3||0||3||0||1||1||0||3||Advance to placement round|
|Sandhu 24', 53'
Purewal 45', 62'
G. Singh 51' (pen.), 90+3'
K. Singh 75', 82'
|Vedanth 45'||Report||Militosyan 14'|
|Panjab||1–1||United Koreans in Japan|
|Purewal 77' (pen.)||Report||Mun 90+4'|
Valenza-Berberian 61', 87'
|5 June – Sutton|
|7 June – Carshalton|
|5 June – Bracknell|
|9 June – Enfield|
|Northern Cyprus||0 (2)|
|5 June – Sutton|
|7 June – Carshalton|
|5 June – Bromley|
|Székely Land||2||Third place|
|9 June – Enfield|
|Székely Land||0 (4)|
|Report||Gök 15', 80'
Turan 54', 69'
Ali 58' (o.g.)
|Innocenti 59' (pen.)
Gadjos 87' (pen.)
|Western Armenia||0–4||Székely Land|
L. Fülöp 65'
|Mehmet 36', 84'
|Toma 36', 57'
Gyürki 75' (pen.)
|ConIFA World Football Cup 2018 Winners|
Placement Round 1
|Akhvlediani 40', 71'
Shoniya 74', 88'
|United Koreans in Japan||5–0||Tuvalu|
Lee 20', 58'
Placement Round 2
|Ragavan 7', 86', 90+1'
|Report||Petoa 3', 73'
|Topgyal 43' (pen.)||Report||Baudia 25', 74', 77', 87'
Mezaib 49', 51'
|Abkhazia||2–0||United Koreans in Japan|
|Report||K. Singh 8', 65', 72', 90+2'
|Ferguson 24', 62'
Placement Round 3
|Tibet||1–1||United Koreans in Japan|
|Yougyal 20'||Report||Gelek 84' (o.g.)|
Minhas 24', 34'
Ferguson 54', 60'
- 6 goals
- 5 goals
- 4 goals
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Own goals
|11||United Koreans in Japan||6||1||4||1||7||4||+3|
- Ellan Vannin withdrew from the competition after the group stage.
Three individual awards were handed out by ConIFA at the conclusion of the tournament:
- Paddy Power Player of the Tournament: Béla Fejér
- ConIFA Golden Boot: Kamaljit Singh
- Global FCE Young Player of the Tournament: Sami Boudia
As winner of Young Player of the Tournament, Sami Boudia was offered a one-month residency at one of the Global Football Centre Of Excellence's academies.
A programme for the entire tournament was produced, with the bulk of the content produced by football writer Mat Guy and blogger Pat McGuinness, and produced by Programme Master. The tournament is also documented in detail in the book CONIFA: Football For The Forgotten by journalist James Hendicott, which centres around events in London and the history of the teams involved.
Ellan Vannin withdrawal
Following the completion of the group stage, Ellan Vannin entered a protest regarding the fact that Barawa had been able to bring in a replacement player to their squad after the tournament had started, in apparent contravention of the tournament's rules. The addition of the player, Mohamed Bettamer, a former Libyan youth international, was permitted by ConIFA, who stated that this was a rule change, but who did not inform the other 15 teams in the competition, who had submitted their own squad lists according to the published pre-tournament rule book. Ellan Vannin launched an appeal against the Barawa team's fielding of an apparently ineligible player, which at an initial meeting of the tournament committee was upheld, before subsequently being overturned. As a result, Ellan Vannin withdrew from the remainder of the tournament, and Tibet, their opponents in the First Placement Round, were awarded a 3–0 victory. Their place in the remaining fixtures were taken by Chagos Islands.  A meeting of ConIFA's Executive Committee made the decision to provisionally expel the Manx Independent Football Alliance from the organization on 7 June, subject to ratification at the Annual General Meeting in January 2019. They were reinstated in January.
|London Turkish Select||4–0||Tibet|
|Leonce 28' (pen.)||Report||Tinilau 8', 63'
Uaelasi 20', 81'
Oride 26' (o.g.)
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Own goals
- Nicolas Oride (against Tuvalu)
In Northern Cyprus the games were broadcast by EURO GENÇ TV.
- Ellan Vannin withdrew from the tournament on 5 June. Tibet instead played a "London Turkish Select" team when this fixture was due to be played.
- Chagos Islands agreed to fulfil Ellan Vannin's remaining fixtures.
- "16 nations - one goal!". Facebook. ConIFA. 2 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
- "World Football Cup Qualification System". ConIFA. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "About". Barawa Football Association. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- "CONIFA World Football Cup Qualification Guidelines" (PDF). conifa.org. ConIFA. October 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- "World Football Cup Qualification System". ConIFA. Confederation of Independent Football Associations. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- "Football Federation of Western Armenia Plays First Game". Asbarez. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- "ConIFA Activity Report 2016" (PDF). ConIFA. 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2 June 2017.[permanent dead link]
- "Official Seeding - World Cup London 2018 group stage". Twitter. ConIFA. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
- "Going to be very interesting. Draw in Northern Cyprus on January 6th, 2018". Twitter. Manx IFA. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
- "Tuvalu to replace Kiribati at the 2018 Paddy Power World Football Cup". ConIFA. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- "Karpatalya to replace Felvidék at 2018 Paddy Power World Football Cup". ConIFA. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Wilson, Jack (14 May 2018). "Premier League revelation: Mark Clattenburg reveals the player who 'annoys EVERYONE'". Daily Express. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "Fejer, Boudia and Singh Scoop #WFC2018 Awards". CONIFA. Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
- "ConIFA 2018 World Football Cup Official Programme". Programme Master. Archived from the original on 6 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- Hendicott, James. CONIFA: Football For The Forgotten: The Untold Story Of Football's Alternative World Cup.
- Wright, Chris (29 May 2018). "'Bring The House Down' – Right Said Fred Record Official Anthem For 2018 ConIFA World Cup". Who Ate All The Pies. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
- "Should Ellan Vannin appeal their elimination?". Prost Amerika. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
- "Manx FA react furiously to rejection of Bettamer appeal". Prost Amerika. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
- "CONIFA Statement Regarding Ellan Vannin". CONIFA.org. CONIFA. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
- "CONIFA is pleased to advise that Chagos Islands will fulfill Ellan Vannin's fixtures". Twitter Conifa. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
- "CONIFA Statement Regarding Ellan Vannin". ConIFA. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.