ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan national football team played its first match at the CONIFA 2016 tournament on Sunday.
Kurdistan won its opening game against Székely Land 3-0 in Russia’s Abkhazia Region.
Kurdistan took a one-goal lead into halftime after Farhang Wriya put them ahead with 34 minutes played. Farhan Shkur and Hunar Ahmed added two more in the second-half, scoring after 55 and 73 minutes respectively.
On April 16, Kurdistan football team released the roster of players competing in the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) World Football Cup 2016. The team includes 23 local players chosen from football clubs in the Kurdistan League.
The opening ceremony of the CONIFA tournament was held at the Dinamo Stadium on Saturday, and the first match of the tournament was between Padania and Northern Cyprus, which the latter won 2-1.
Kurdistan will play United Koreans in their next match on May 31.
The draw for the CONIFA World Football Cup was completed on April 1 featuring 12 international teams, including the Kurdistan national team. The matches are scheduled to be held in Russia’s Abkhazia Region in May and June.
Group A: Abkhazia, Chagos Islands, Western Armenia
Group B: Kurdistan, Székely Land, United Koreans in Japan
Group C: Northern Cyprus, Romani People, Padania
Group D: Panjab, Sápmi, Somaliland
CONIFA is the football federation representing all associations outside of FIFA, the governing body for football.
The association is a “global acting non-profit organization that supports representatives of international football teams from nations, de-facto nations, regions, minority peoples and sports isolated territories,” according to its official website.
CONIFA was founded on June 7, 2013, and organized its first World Football Cup in June 2014 in Ostersund, Sweden.
In 2012, the Kurdistan national team won the VIVA World Cup organized in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, after a thrilling 2-1 final against Northern Cyprus. At its first CONIFA World Football Cup in 2014, Kurdistan placed sixth.
Reporting by Baxtiyar Goran
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany