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00:00:01
>> It's got the fans, the fouls, and the finishes. The World Cup may be about to kick off in Russia, but another World Cup has just finished in the UK capital London. But what it doesn't have is FIFA, or indeed teams that you're likely to recognize. I'm Reuter's David Doyle reporting to you, from the ConIFA World Cup competition for disputed territories, ethnic minorities and countries that are simply too small or isolated, to take part in major international games.
00:00:31
Such as Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia recognized only by Russia and a handful of other UN countries. And Barawa a diaspora team from a conflict hit town in Somalia. Billy Mehmet, striker for Northern Cyprus, which is only recognized as an independent state by Turkey, says the competition means that he can represent part of his heritage.
00:00:51
>> I mean to play for the country where my Dad was born, it’s a proud moment for him and for me, you know? I mean he was here today, he looked like he was gonna cry at one stage, so it's brilliant, you know.>> ConIFA says it represents around 320 million people across the world, through it's 48 members.
00:01:05
From the Rohingya ethnic minority, to the people of the UK county of Yorkshire, many of its members are in ongoing struggles for greater recognition.>> A really good example of that is Tibet, really. It's pretty obvious that a Tibetan wouldn't want to play for the Chinese national team.
00:01:21
And yet, what other option presents itself through FIFA, so our model is effectively a more flexible model of identity. We feel it allows a lot more people to express who they are through sport, in a way that is quite prohibitive when you only use nationality, as the guiding line.
00:01:38
>> ConIFA is a not-for-profit organisation and says it is apolitical. Teams are banned from making political statements at it's games. And if you're interested in the result, the finals saw Hungarian ethnic group Kapatalya, beat Northern Cyprus to lift the trophy. With the celebration worthy of the final taking place in Moscow next month.
00:01:58
>>
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