ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The head of the Kurdistan Football Federation, Safeen Kanabi, on Wednesday expressed confidence that a team would represent the region for the 2019 rendition of the Norway Cup.
The world’s largest football tournament, the Norway Cup is an annual event which first began in 1972 to bring together teams made up of children and youths of both genders, ages 10 to 19.
Every year, close to and, more recently, over 1,500 teams from all over the world arrive in the Scandinavian country to compete in the event, organized by Bækkelagets Sportsklub.
The vision of the Norway Cup, according to their official website, is to be “the world’s largest and most important venue for the joy of sport and friendship.”
“I am certain… that Kurdistan’s team will participate in the Norway Cup,” Kanabi said during an interview with Kurdistan 24.
The official added that their organization had not been able to sign up a Kurdish team in recent years due to the lack of funding following “the recent years’ financial crisis” in the Kurdistan Region.
The Kurdistan Region in the past few years has suffered through a financial crisis which was compounded by the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq in 2014, cuts to the Kurdistan Region’s share of the national budget by the federal government of Iraq, and the influx of almost two million displaced people and refugees to the semi-autonomous region.
Kanabi added that in the coming week, he would be attending the yearly Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) conference in Poland to determine whether the Kurdistan Region will be able to enroll in the CONIFA world football cup.
The confederation is an international governing body for football teams of stateless states, peoples, and minorities. It holds a tournament every two years.
Editing by Nadia Riva