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FIFA is the international governing body of association football, charged with overseeing football globally and with running international representative matches. However, some international football takes place outside its ratification. This often consists of matches involving sub-national entities such as islands, colonies or autonomous regions. Representative matches also occur involving states with limited international recognition who are unable to qualify for FIFA membership. There are also a limited number of states whose representative teams are not affiliated to FIFA. Historically, a number of competitions occurred outside FIFA's auspices.
Broadly-speaking, there are five categories of Non-FIFA national team:
At present, Marshall Islands doesn't have any football team.
A second category encompasses regions of larger nations which have a history of autonomy. They may have already achieved a degree of self-governance (for example the Autonomous communities of Spain including Catalonia, Galicia and the Basque Country which usually play just one game a year, traditionally at Christmas), or be seeking it. However, it is necessary to distinguish the Basque team from the others, as it has come to represent not just the 'Basque autonomous community', but the 'greater Basque region', also incorporating Navarre and the French Basque Country.
Alternatively, some unrecognised states may have national teams. Some established members of UEFA once fell into this category, such as the Faroe Islands. Current non-FIFA heavyweights Northern Cyprus are the best example of this category of non-FIFA football team.
The first, and most common, are teams which represent the regional associations of established footballing nations. These oversee local football in their respective regions and are part of a network of associations that contribute to the national association as a whole. A good example of this would be Jersey, whose members are also members of the FA. These regional associations often enter representative teams into international non-FIFA matches.
The third group of teams features representative sides drawn from ethnic groups that have yet to gain significant control over a home state, or drawn from an ethnic diaspora. The Sami people of Lapland live in a distinct area of northern Scandinavia, yet fall under the control of four states. Nevertheless, they have organised a football association and a representative team. Similarly, the Romani people—having been strewn across Europe for centuries—have a fledgeling footballing organisation to represent them in international competition. Other stateless nations, such as the Palestinians have been welcomed into FIFA and the AFC despite having no recognised state. The Esperanto Football Team has been set up to represent the worldwide community of Esperanto speakers.
Another group of teams consist of ethnic minorities in a state.
Football tournaments at international multi-sports events, such as the Olympics, Pan-American Games and Francophone games are without FIFA's jurisdiction, but are, for the most part, operated with the acknowledgement of that body. These events typically involve age restricted teams, to avoid direct competition with the World Cup and continental championships.
The FIFI Wild Cup was organised by the German football club St. Pauli in the summer of 2006. It took place while the FIFA World Cup was being played in Germany, and aimed to raise awareness of stateless nations. Five nations took part, along with a team representing the St Pauli district of Hamburg. Northern Cyprus beat Zanzibar on penalties to win the trophy.
The UNPO Cup was organised by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization and NF-Board, and took place in The Hague in June 2005. The tournament, which coincided with UNPO's 7th General Assembly, and featured four teams. The South Moluccas won the cup, beating Chechnya in the final.
The first VIVA World Cup, organised by the N.F.-Board, took place in Occitania in November 2006. Six nations initially accepted invitations, but eventually, only 3 took part, the hosts, Monaco and Saami, the eventual winners. The second edition took place in Lapland in 2008 and Padania emerged as winners, as the third in 2009 where Padania won the tournament at home.
|Iraqi Kurdistan||2012||Iraqi Kurdistan|
|Sápmi||2014||County of Nice|
|Northern Cyprus||2006||Northern Cyprus|
The Island Games, which are held every two years, features a competitive football tournament, won on the first two occasions by now-established UEFA and FIFA member, the Faroe Islands, and again in 2007 by now UEFA members, Gibraltar. Many of the competing nations are affiliated to larger national FAs - the Jersey Football Association, for example, is governed by the FA.
|Faroe Islands||1989||Faroe Islands|
|Isle of Wight||1993||Jersey|
|Gibraltar||1995||Isle of Wight|
|Isle of Man||2001||Guernsey|
|Isle of Wight||2011||Isle of Wight|
|Gotland||2017||Isle of Man|
The ConIFA European Football Cup was played in Douglas, the Isle of Man. The host place of the tournament was moved to London, England, and then to Székely Land, Romania. The tournament took place from the 13th till the 21st of June, 2015. It was the first ever European Championship between representative teams outside FIFA. The 12 representative teams: Ellan Vannin, County of Nice, Abkhazia, Nagorno Karabakh, South Ossetia, Occitania, Romani People, Franconia, Sapmi, Northern Cyprus, Szekely Land and Padania. Subsequently, 3 teams (Franconia, Monaco, Nagorno-Karabakh) cancelled their participation for the 2015 ConIFA European Football Cup in Hungary, which forced the originally planned schedule to be revised. The presence of a total of nine teams led to three groups of three being formed. In May 2015, Occitania also announced their withdrawal from the competition, which led to another revision of the match schedule into two groups of four, which ConIFA based upon their ranking points system. In June 2015, another three teams, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Northern Cyprus, were all forced to withdraw, as a result of visa difficulties, while the Felvidek team was added to the line up - leaving two groups of three and six participants in total.
The Europeada is a football tournament for indigenous and national minorities in Europe, and is organized by the Federal Union of European Nationalities. The first edition was played in 2008 in Surselva, Switzerland.
The Copa CSANF is a football tournament for football federations not admitted to FIFA in South America. Is organized by the Consejo Sudamericano de Nuevas Federaciones. The first edition was played in 2011 in Chile.
|Chile||2011||Juan Fernandez Islands|
The CSANF 10th Anniversary Cup is a tournament to celebrate the 10 years of the creation of the Consejo Sudamericano de Nuevas Federaciones.
The Campeonato Nacional de Futbol Pueblos Originarios (Copa ANPO) is a football tournament for the indigenous peoples of South America, and is organized by the Asociación Nacional de Pueblos Originarios. The inaugural tournament was played in 2012 in Chile. Campeonato de futbol Pueblos Originarios Asociacion Andina de Futbol Liga Andina Arica Facebook page on Facebook played among six teams. Three teams come from the Mapuche people – the largest indigenous population in Chile. There is a Mapuche team, a Pewenche team (which is the term used for Mapuche populations living in the mountainous regions of Chile), and a Warriache team (composed of Mapuche individuals from the city). In addition, there is one Aymara team, one Lican Antay (or Atacameño) team, and one Rapa Nui team.
The N.F.-Board's South American governing body CSANF have announced a preliminary date for the second Indigenous Peoples' Championship. Set for Santiago in Chile from August 5–10, 2013, the sides hoped to compete are Easter Island, Mapuche, Aymara, LikanAntay, Diaguita, Kolla, Quechua and a combined Yaghan-Kawesqar team.
Some non-FIFA teams play in other tournaments generally played by FIFA members, including the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Indian Ocean Games, CECAFA Cup, South Pacific Games, Coupes des Caraibes, Shell Caribbean Cup, CFU Championship and many more.
Moreover, many teams, before obtaining FIFA membership, played friendlies and international tournaments - for example, the Faroe Islands.
Across a discreet number of minor tournaments, the only three main international football tournaments for women are the Women's VIVA World Cup, the Europeada and the Island Games.
A women's football tournament to the Island Games is played from 2001 edition:
|Isle of Man||2001||Faroe Islands|
|Isle of Wight||2011||Åland Islands|
A women's football tournament to the VIVA World Cup is played from 2008 until 2010:
The official announcement of the 2nd edition of the Women VIVA World Cup 2018® in Vichy. Dates: From Sunday 3rd to Sunday 10 June 2018. Tournament format: 12 teams (6 football continents represented)
A women's football tournament to the Europeada is played from the 2016 edition:
A big number of friendlies are played between youth selections with different restrictions (U-21, U-18, or U-16 for example) but still does not exists any international or continental tournaments. Only a little number of minor tournaments are played for youth selections: one of them, and probably one of the most important, is Muratti Vase who is played for U-21, U-18, U-15.
Despite the fact many non-FIFA associations have their own league, there are no international or continental club tournaments.