The CONIFA 2018 World Football Cup will take place in London this summer, with the Barawa Football Association hosting tournament.
“We are thrilled to be taking CONIFA to England – the spiritual home of football,” said CONIFA President Per-Anders Blind.
“The World Football Cup just gets bigger and bigger. After hosting our inaugural tournament in Sweden in 2014, we reached new heights in Abkhazia last year with an event that received media coverage on every inhabited continent.
"We are confident 2018 will be our best tournament yet, and London will be the perfect host.”
With the tournament now only months away, Goal takes a look at everything you need to know.
WHAT IS THE CONIFA WORLD FOOTBALL CUP?
The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) 2018 World Football Cup is an international football tournament for states, minorities, stateless peoples and regions unaffiliated with FIFA organised by ConIFA.
Barawa, a region of Somalia, are this year recognised as hosts of the tournament, though the entire competition will take place in London as the Barawa Football Association is based in the capital.
WHEN IS THE WORLD FOOTBALL CUP?
The games will take place between May 31 2018 and Jun 9 2018 .
WHERE WILL THE GAMES BE PLAYED?
Numerous stadiums around London will be hosting World Football Cup matches. To date, three host venues have been announced:
Gander Green Lane , home of Sutton United, will host a number of games. The stadium's pitch is of FIFA 2-Star quality, FIFA's highest rating for 3G artificial pitches, and has a capacity of 5,013.
Hayes Lane , also holding around 5,000 people, will share a spread of fixtures. The ground is used by Bromley Football Club, Cray Wanderers and Crystal Palace Ladies.
Queen Elizabeth II Stadium , the smallest of the three stadiums, is housed in Enfield and holds approximately 2,500 spectators.
WHO HAS QUALIFIED?
Sixteen teams will take part in the competition, with Barawa the recognised hosts.
Six of the competing sides are representing Europe, five are from Asia, three from Africa, one from North America, and one from Oceania.
|TEAM||REGION||METHOD OF QUALIFICATION|
|Tamil Eelam||Asia||CONIFA Challenger Cup winners|
|Abkhazia||Europe||CONIFA World Football Cup Winners|
|Felvidek||Europe||Hungary Heritage Cup winners|
|Western Armenia||Asia||Wild Card|
|Cascadia||North America||Regional qualification|
|Padania||Europe||CONIFA European Football Cup Winners|
|Northern Cyprus||Europe||CONIFA European Football Cup Runners Up|
|United Koreans of Japan||Asia||Regional qualification|
|Ellan Vannin||Europe||Regional qualification|
|Székely Land||Europe||Regional qualification|
GROUPS, DATES AND OPENING FIXTURES
Group A consists of Barawa, Ellan Vannin, Tamil Eelam, and Cascadia.
Group B consists of Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, Felvidék, and Tibet.
Group C consists of Padania, Székely Land, Kiribati, and Matabeleland.
Group D consists of Panjab, United Koreans of Japan, Western Armenia, and Kabylie.
|UK of Japan||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
The opening fixtures of the competition will take place on May 31 2018, with Ellan Vannin taking on Cascadia, and Barawa going up against Tamil Eelam.
On the same day, Abkhazia face Tibet and Northern Cyprus face Felvidék in Group B, while Padania vs Matabeleland and Kiribati vs Székely Land takes place on the same day.
Panjab vs Kabylie, and United Koreans of Japan vs Western Armenia will also go ahead on May 31.
The quarter-final stage of the tournament will take place on June 5, the semi-final on June 7, and the third-place play-off on June 9.
The final will also take place on June 9, with the venue to be decided.