What is the most important football match that will kick off in the next week? Some people might suggest the UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev between Liverpool and Real Madrid. Others might believe it to be the Championship Play-Off Final between Aston Villa and Fulham at Wembley. For some it is going to be Ellan Vannin’s first-round ConIFA World Cup match against Cascadia at Gander Green Lane, Sutton. It is all a question of allegiance.
The 2018 ConIFA World Cup is being held in London, with the opening ceremony and first games taking place on 31 May and the final and closing ceremony happening just over a week later, on the 9 June. Matches are hosted at a range of grounds around greater London.
ConIFA represents football teams from states and regions around the world, which are not officially recognised by FIFA. Previous World Cups have seen winners from the County of Nice and Abkhazia.
The 2018 tournament sees teams competing from as far afield as Tibet, Matabeleland, Tuvalu and Padania.
So, who to support?
Ellan Vannin Football Team
The Ellan Vannin Football Team represent the Isle of Man. They have a good pedigree in ConIFA World Cup tournaments, finishing runners up in the inaugural competition, and they come into the current tournament on the back of a good string of results, drawing with Yorkshire and defeating Panjab. They currently sit 4th on ConIFA’s ranking of teams, behind Panjab, Padania and Northern Cyprus, and just ahead of Székely Land, United Koreans in Japan and Felvidék.
They are my tip for the current tournament. After all, anyone with three legs on their flag must have some kind of an advantage when it comes to playing football!
Get along to a game
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t drag your feet. Tickets don’t cost an arm and a leg. Go out on a limb and pick a winner, then hot foot it to a match and cheer along your favourites.
© Donnie Blake
Donnie Blake is giving his support to the boys in red and yellow.
Check out Donnie Blake’s World Cup Detective series of books, available from Amazon.