The draw for the Conifa 2017 football tournament, that will be hosted by the TRNC, was organised by the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation (KTFF) at Girne’s Acapulco Resort Hotel the previous Saturday and saw the TRNC matched in Group A against title-holder Abkhazia of north-western Georgia, Karpatalja of south-west Ukraine and South Osecia of southern Russia.
The Group B draw was Padani FA (northern Italy), La Country of Nice (southern France), Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man) and Szekely Land (eastern Romania).
As previously reported, all teams competing in the tournament between June 4 and 11 come from unrecognised states, isolated dependencies or cultural regions.
Conifa 2017 will see eight teams competing for a European Cup in matches that will take place in four TRNC stadiums with an anticipated global television audience of some 390 million, many of whom will be from the 45 Conifa member communities.
Orçun Kamalı, KTFF foreign relations official, said there would be no entry charge to watch the Conifa matches. “We want to attract as many fans as possible to come and watch the games,” he said. “This will help us to show our love of football to the world despite embargoes and it will also will boost the international profile of the TRNC.’’
The TRNC national team came third in the Conifa World Championships when it was held last year in the disputed Black Sea region of Abkhazia.