FOOTBALL’S FUTURE: THE OTHER WORLD CUP
In your Wednesday edition, Alex Kliment wrote about the World Cup and its political significance. That’s not the whole story. On the outskirts of London last week, the non-profit Confederation of Independent Football Associations and British bookmaker Paddy Power sponsored an alternative football eventfor territories and peoples whose sovereignty is not internationally recognized. The first version of this competition (2014) appeared in Sweden and the second (2016) in Abkhazia, a region that declared independence from Georgia in 1999.
Here we see the sporting rivalries of tomorrow: Iraqi Kurdistan vs Tibet, the Serbs of Hungary vs the Koreans of Japan, Greenland vs. Matabeleland, Abkhazia vs Panjab (the 2016 final), Karpatalya, a Hungarian-speaking minority in Western Ukraine, vs. Northern Cyprus (this year’s final), and the Ukrainian separatists of Donetsk vs the American and Canadian separatists of Cascadia.
The passion and fun are real, and the controversy is minimal. For now.