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Georgian MFA: CONIFA football competition does not legitimize de facto Abkhazia

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, September 14
Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has commented on the participation of the Abkhazian football team in the CONIFA 2018 competition, to be held in London from May 31 to June 10.

The MFA reports that the CONIFA 2018 has nothing to do with FIFA (The Federation Internationale de Football Association) and the participation of the Abkhazian team does not mean the Sokhumi football team should be regarded as a legitimate international competitor.

The Ministry explained that the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) World Football Cup is an international football tournament organized as an umbrella association for states, minorities, stateless peoples and regions unaffiliated with FIFA.

“Various football associations of different unrecognized regions of the world usually participate in this event. London CONIFA World Football Championship has no connection to FIFA,” the ministry added.

In June 2015, the so-called Abkhazian national team was prevented from participating in the CONIFA European Championship. According to the de facto authorities of Abkhazia, their team was rejected due to a protest from Tbilisi.

However, in 2016 the championship was held in Abkhazia. For the purpose of the championship, the stadium of "Dinamo" Sokhumi was reconstructed.

The Confederation of Independent Football Associations is the international governing body for non-FIFA affiliated Associations for football, futsal, and beach soccer.

Currently, CONIFA is responsible for the organization of the CONIFA World Cup and the CONIFA European Championship.

CONIFA was founded in 2013 to oversee international competitions among the non-FIFA affiliated associations in the world. It is based in Lulea, Sweden.

The CONIFA 2018 World Cup will host teams from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania.