Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Kosovo announce Turkey and Senegal friendlies

Kosovo have confirmed May matches with Turkey and Senegal as they make the most of FIFA's allowance for them to play friendlies with their members.
The Kosovo team before the Haiti game

They will play the Euro 2008 semi-finalists in Mitrovica on the 21st before travelling to Geneva on May 25th where they will face the Senegalese.

The northern city of Mitrovica was home to the 0-0 with Haiti last month and the historical ties with Turks and Albanians make the game a fairly predictable one. 

Senegal are preparing for the 2015 African Cup of Nation qualifiers and the game in Switzerland, a country home to an estimated 150,000 Kosovar emigrants, should attract a big crowd.

The Kosovo squad is expected to be similar to the one that played last month though Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj could feature after his father Abedin is reported to have said "my son will play for Kosovo or Turkey".

Monday, 24 March 2014

Groups drawn for maiden ConIFA World Football Cup

The draw for the first ConIFA World Football Cup took place today with hosts Sápmi meeting Occitania and Abkhazia in group B.

The 12 competing teams
VIVA World Cup holders Kurdistan are alongside Aramean Suryoye and Tamil Eelam in group A, with group C to be contested by Padania, Quebec and Darfur.

Group D, arguably the easiest looking pool, will feature Zanzibar, Nagorno-Karabakh and Ellan Vannin.

The hosts squad is anticipated to be extremely strong  with Club Brugge defender Tom Høgli expected to play. The Lapland side have meet the Occitans twice before, most recently in 2012 when they lost 3-2.

Group A is an all Asian affair which will be dominated by the Kurds and 2008 VIVA World Cup runners-up Aramean Suryoye. The sides met in 2008 drawing 0-0.

In Group C none of the teams have previous meetings but 2012 VIVA World Cup whipping boys Darfur could be on the end of some heavy scorelines against the powerful duo of Padania and Quebec.

The final group is perhaps the most open with each side likely to fancy their chances of making the quarter-finals. The full fixture list will be published next week.

After the draw Aramean Suryoye FA president Melke Alan said "it's tough but it's good to play the hard teams [Kurdistan]". Sapmi FA president Håkan Kuorak was equally positive saying "I expect us to be better than Abkhazia for sure".

Full draw - 

Group A: Kurdistan, Aramean Suryoye & Tamil Eelam.
Group B: Sapmi, Occitania & Abkhazia.
Group C: Padania, Quebec & Darfur.
Group D: Zanzibar, Nagorno-Karabakh & Ellan Vannin.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Monaco confirm May trip to Rome for Vatican friendly

Monaco will travel to Rome on May 10th to face the Vatican City as the two microstates meet for the fourth time.

Both teams after the game last summer
The game will take place at 20:00 at the Stadio Petriano in Pontificio Oratorio San Pietro, the Vatican's sport complex, which plays host to Vatican domestic matches.

With no pitch within the Holy See the smallest nation in the world play ‘home’ games in Rome with both a 2-1 defeat to Monaco in 2011 and 0-0 draw 9 years previous coming at the Stadio Pio XII.

The Vatican travelled to the French Riviera for a first away game last June as they went down 2-0 after first-half goals from Morgan Escarras and Eric Fissore.  

Monaco have stepped up their non-FIFA activity over the last 18 months playing games, both of which ended in defeat, against Raetia and Provence.

The win over the Vatican was their last outing and they will travel to the Isle of Man in April as the opposition for the newly formed Manx Ellan Vannin team.

The Monegasque also have plans for an August game with Sealand and potentially Seborga after the Italian micronation recently founded a new football organisation. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Gibraltar to host Malta in June

Gibraltar will host Malta in a friendly on June 4th as the new UEFA members look to prepare for their first European Championship qualification campaign later this year.

The sides will meet for the first time
The game will likely take place at the Victoria Stadium which was the venue for Gibraltar’s back-to-back defeats to the Faroe Islands and Estonia earlier this month.

With the Estádio Algarve in Faro, Portugal Gibraltar's home ground for the European Championship qualifiers there's a chance the game could be played there.

The non-FIFA side travel to Tallinn on May 26th before the Maltese, who lost 2-0 to Albania in March, travel to the Mediterranean for a first meeting with Gibraltar. 

The Gibraltar Football Association no doubt see the game as an opportunity to gain a positive result on the back of the disappointing results during the last international break.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

ConIFA World Football Cup draw set for Monday

The draw for the maiden ConIFA World Football Cup takes place on Monday in Sweden with the new non-FIFA governing body set to reveal the groups for the 12 competing teams.

The projected seeding for the draw
ConIFA World President Per-Anders Blind will conduct the draw in the southern Sami city of Östersund, which will stage the finals, alongside organisation CEO Johan Bexelius.

Of the 12 participants 8 have played at a VIVA World Cup before with Quebec, Ellan Vannin, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh the exceptions.

Hosts Sapmi, winners of the first VIVA World Cup in 2006, will be in pot one after each competing association agreed on a seeding system which will see 3 groups of 4 play out before quarter-finals, semi’s and placement games.

2012 VIVA World Cup winners Kurdistan are expected to join them in the first pot alongside 3-time VIVA champions Padania and CAF members Zanzibar.

Pot two is expected to contain the Quebecois, 2013 Tynwald Hill Tournament winners Occitania and 2008 VIVA World Cup runners up Aramean Suryoye.

Nagorno-Karabakh will make up the second seeds despite the Azerbaijan FA complaining to FIFA about their participation.

The final pot is set to include Abkhazia, Darfur, Tamil Eelam and Ellan Vannin. The latter host Monaco in their first international in April and members of the Manx Independent Football Association will travel to Sweden for the draw.

Kurdistan, Aramean Suryoye and the hosts will also send delegations to the draw which is set to be conducted in the Jämtkraft Arena, home of Swedish second-tier side Östersunds FK, at 14:00 local time.

The tournament, which has in effect replaced the N.F.-Board’s VIVA World Cup, is set to be the largest non-FIFA event in history. It begins on June 1st and concludes on the 8th. We will be covering Monday’s draw via our Twitter service.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Plans taking shape for Micronesian Games on Pohnpei

The lineup for football at the 2014 Micronesian Games, which will be hosted on Pohnpei in July, is taking shape with 5 teams expected to feature.

The Pohnpei state squad after training last week
The Micronesian region is arguably the least developed and documented in terms of the sport and the event, set to take place from 20th to the 27th, will be the first football tournament in the games since 2001. 

3 of the states that make up Micronesia, Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei, contested that last event and the sides will again be in action this summer. Paul Watson, former manager of Pohnpei and Micronesia, has been on the island the last month preparing the team.

Palau are also expected to send a team. The island nation of just 20,000 people has only fielded a national side once when they lost 12-1 to the Northern Mariana Islands and 15-2 to Guam at the 1998 Micronesian Games.  

FA president and national team coach Charles Mitchell will draw his side from 15 or so Palauans playing in the PFA Adult League and at high school. The PFA hope to join East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) after communication with the OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) broke down.

EAFF members Guam, by far the strongest Micronesian team and the only FIFA side, were going to send a ‘C’ team but have since decided not to as their factious relationship with the Guam National Olympic Committee (GNOC) continues. 

The Guam FA isn't tied to their Olympic Committee in any way and they select players who wouldn't meet Olympic standards as there is no such thing as a Guam passport. The rift means there will be no football team at the games.

Despite this the Northern Mariana Islands contacted the tournament organisers last week enquiring about entering.  Also part of the EAFF the CNMI team made their Asian Football Confederation debut earlier this year having become associate members in 2009.

The location for the new pitch in Palikir
The level of opposition will probably suit the Blue Ayuyu’s more but they await news of the 2015 EAFF preliminary qualifiers, which are scheduled for July to August, before committing to sending a team.

OFC associate members Kiribati hoped to send a team but it seems increasingly unlikely due to a lack of finance. There was no interest from the Marshall Islands or Nauru.

The likely group of 5 will play out over the week at the College of Micronesia campus in Palikir. A new pitch is currently being built after the Japanese Embassy in Micronesia gave a grant of $120,000. 

The top 4 sides will then meet in the semi-finals before placement matches for the gold, silver and bronze medal positions. 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Guernsey to meet Jersey after 4-0 win on Alderney

Muratti holders Guernsey scored 3 goals in the opening 25 minutes as they ran out 4-0 winners at plucky Alderney in the semi final today.

Guernsey FC defender Mackay scored the 2nd
Alderney made a positive start to the game and in the 9th minute Ross Benfield forced a save from Tom Creed, who was making his debut.

However in the 11th minute the visitors took the lead when Guernsey FC midfielder Tom de la Mare fired beyond Jamie Leband.

Guernsey kept up the pressure and in the 18th minute they doubled their lead as Angus Mackay took advantage of some slack defending.

With the visitors cruising Leband was forced into some smart saves. However with 25 minutes on the clock it was 3 when defender Tom Martin, making his international debut, finished coolly.

The windy conditions were having an effect on play and despite some further Guernsey pressure it was 3-0 at the break.

It took the Muratti holders 9 minutes to add another goal in the second half. Belgrave striker Craig Young, who has scored in Guernsey’s last 2 Muratti games, made it 4-0 with a fine solo goal.

The relentless attacks continued and Mackay saw his effort splendidly tipped over by Leaband in the 69th minute before Dave Rihoy shaved the bar with 14 minutes to go.

Despite the permanent pressure Alderney held out for a respectable defeat, their best Muratti effort since 2010 and a best result against Guernsey since 2007.

The holders will travel to Jersey in May for the final. For Alderney a meeting with Sealand over the summer is likely.

Match information -
Score: Alderney 0 – 4 Guernsey

Goals: Tom de la Mare 11’, Angus Mackay 18’, Tom Martin 25’ Craig Young 54’

Alderney XI: Leband; Aldcroft, Foster, Vizard, Conancen, Atkins; Johns [Lawrence 71’], Benfield [Olliver 58’], McCormack; Stretton [Blackham 66’]; McCulloch.

Guernsey XI: Creed; D Martin [Larkin 59’], Mackay, Geall, T Martin; de la Mare, Bourgaize, Marley; Pereira, Young, Rihoy.