STEPANAKERT—The national football team of Artsakh has left for Sweden to participate in the first ever ConIFA World Football Cup, a tournament held for teams outside international soccer’s governing body, FIFA.
The tournament, to be held in Ostersund, in central Sweden, will be hosted by the Sapmi people, also known as Laplanders. It is to be held under the aegis of ConIFA, a global umbrella organization for all the football teams outside FIFA.
Twelve teams will participate in the tournament: Abkhazia, Countea de Nissa, Ellan Vannin, Nagorno-Karabakh, Padania, South Ossetia, Arameans Suryoye, Darfur United, Kurdistan, Association Occitania de Fotbol, Sapmi, and Tamil Eelam.
The National team of Nagorno Karabakh has been drawn into Group D together with Ellan Vannin and Countea de Nissa.
In February, ConIFA responded to Azerbaijani objections to the inclusion of Artsakh in the tournament.
“ConIFA in general is about bridging the world and representing the unrepresented. It is a fact that Nagorno-Karabakh is self-controlled today and this is one of the major facts for us, that the Artsakh Football Federation is neither a part of the Azeri Football Federation nor any other FIFA member,” ConIFA said in a letter addressed to the Azerbaijani government.