Manfredi Pantanella



(Confederation Of Independent Football Associations) 

CONIFA (Confederation Of Independent Football Associations) was founded on June 7, 2013, and its members are football teams representing unrecognized states, ethnic groups, islands and “frozen conflict” zones from all over the world. It organized the first World Football Cup in June 2014 in Ostersund, Sweden. Amongst the national football teams participating in the activities of the Confederation there are - for example - Iraqi Kurdistan, Tibet, Tamil Eelam, the Isle of Man.

“Here you have it, Tamil Eelam is in the north of Sri Lanka, you see it looks like a mango!”
(the player who drew the map of Tamil Eelam)

The reasons why these teams cannot participate in FIFA competitions are very diverse, as all of these countries have a completely different historical background as well as a different social reality. Nonetheless, they all have something in common: a strong desire to affirm their collective identity.

The political balance of power between governments has determined the official non-existence of these territories on a political and national level. By relating the different national teams, Conifa assumes their existence from a cultural and geographical point of view.This continuously generates hyperbolic, interesting and paradoxical situations, giving birth to a semi-serious, semi-professional and semi-official context. During the championship, one finds himself living in an exceptional reality, neither true nor false, but absolutely verisimilar. 


O Halloo nyn ghooie,
O Chliegeen ny s’bwaaie
Ry gheddyn er ooir aalin Yee,
Ta dt’ Ardstoyl Reill Thie
Myr Barrool er ny hoie
Dy reayl shin ayns seyrsnys as shee.Tra Gorree yn DaneHaink er traieec y LhaneSon Ree Mannin
v’eh er ny reih’S va creenaght veih

HeoseEr ny chur huggey neoseDy reill harrin lesh cairys as graihRen nyn ayryn g’imraaVa

Nooghyn shenn traa
Yn Sushtal dy Hee fockley magh
Shegin yeearree peccoil
Myr far aileyn Vaal,
Veer ny chur mow son dy bragh.
Vec ooasle yn Theihll
Ayns creoighys tooilleil
Ta traaue ooir as faarkey,
Gow creeNy jarrood yn fer mie
Ta coadey ‘n lught-thieRen tooilleil liorish Logh Galilee. 

D’eiyr yn sterrym noon as noal
Yn baatey beg moalFo-harey hugEh geay as keayn
Trooid ooilley nyn ghaue
Ta’n Saualtagh ec laue
Dy choadey nyn Vannin veg veen.Lhig dorrinyn bra
Troggal seose nyn goraa
As brishey magh ayns ard arraneTa nyn groink aalin glass
Yn vooir cummal ass
As coadey lught-thie as shioltane.Nyn Ellan fo-heeCha boir noidyn eeDy bishee nyn eeastyn as grineNee’n Chiarn shin y reayll
Voish strieughyn yn theihll
As crooinnagh lesh shee ’n ashoon ain.Lhig dooin boggoil bee,
Lesh annym as cree,
As croghey er gialdyn yn Chiarn;Dy vodmayd dagh oor,Treishteil er e phooar,
Dagh olk ass nyn anmeenyn ‘hayrn. 

O land of our birth,O gem of God’s earth,O Island so strong and so fair;
Built firm as Barrule,
Thy Throne of Home Rule
Makes us free as thy sweet mountain air.When Orry, the Dane,
In Mannin did reign,’
Twas said he had come from above;For wisdom from Heav’n
To him had been giv’n
To rule us with justice and love.
Our fathers have told
How Saints came of old,Proclaiming the Gospel of Peace;That sinful desires,
Like false Baal fires,
Must die ere our troubles can cease.
Ye sons of the soil,
In hardship and toil,
That plough both the land and the sea,Take heart while you can,
And think of the Man
Who toiled by the Lake Galilee. 

When fierce tempests smote
That frail little boat,
They ceased at His gentle command;Despite all our fear,
The Saviour is near
To safeguard our dear Fatherland.
Let storm-winds rejoice,
And lift up their voice,
No danger our homes can befall;
Our green hills and rocksEncircle our flocks,And keep out the sea like a wall.
Our Island, thus blest,
No foe can molest;
Our grain and our fish shall increase;From battle and sword
Protecteth the Lord,
And crowneth our nation with peace.Then let us rejoice
With heart, soul and voice,
And in The Lord’s promise confide;That each single hour
We trust in His power,
No evil our souls can betide. 


“Уарзон Ирыстон! Дæ номы кадæнЛæууæм цырагъау мах уырдыг,
Ды дæ нæ уарзты æнусон авдæн,
Ды — нæ цин æмæ хъыг!Фæхæрæм мах дæ зæххæй ард,
Дæ ном дын исæм бæрзонд,Удуæлдай дын кæнæм лæггад,Дæуæн у нæ цард нывонд!
Уæ, Стыр Хуыцау! Дæ хорзæх, Дæ арфæ -Иры Уæзæгæн Ды цардамонд ратт!Уæззау уыд дæ ивгъуыд, Иры бæстæ,-Зылди дæ фæдыл сау фыдох,Фæлæ-иу уæддæр дæ фарны рæстæйКодтой дæ зынтæ рох.
Царды рухсмæ æдзух цыдтæ,Фыдбонты нæ саст дæ ныфс,Сæрбæрзонд алкæддæр уыдтæ,Æргомæй размæ цæуыс!
Уæ, Стыр Хуыцау! Дæ хорзæх, Дæ арфæ -Иры Уæзæгæн Ды цардамонд ратт!Фыдæлты æрдхæрæн, Иры Уæзæг!Зæрдæйы тæгтæй дæ нывæзт,
Ацы дунейы нын масты уæзæй
Ма у дих æмæ уæрст,
Дугæй дугмæ нæрæд дæ ном,Бæрзонддæр кæнæд дæ кад,
Дæ ныфсæй мах цæрæм æнгом,
Дæ фæрцы рухс у нæ цард!
Уæ, Стыр Хуыцау! 

Beloved Ossetia! For the glory of thy name,We stand upright like a candle,
Thou art the age-old cradle of our love,Thou art our joy and sorrow!
We swear by thy earth,
We honour thy name highly,
We serve thee with all our hearts,

We devote our lives to thee!

Oh Great God! Do give thy bliss, thy blessing,Happiness to Ossetia!

Thy past has been hard, oh Ossetian land,White evil has followed thee.
Yet through the truth of thy Farn,[note 2]Thy hardships were forgotten.Towards the light of life
Thou always have walked,
In times of hardship

Thy hope was not broken,

Oh Wastyrdzhi! Do give Ossetian society thy bliss, thy blessing,Good luck on the road!

Pride of our ancestors, home of the Ossetes!Thou art connected with the strings of the heart,In this world of sorrow through heaviness
Be not divided or dispersed,
From age to age may your name echo,
Thy glory grows,
Through thy hope we live together,

Thanks to thee, our life is bright!

Oh Farn of the country! Do give thy bliss, thy blessing,Happiness to our beloved Ossetia!
The honour and glory! 

Law and official reality are not violated nor distorted, althoughwe suddenly find ourselves living on another planet, on whichthese national and collective identities become visible andshared, accepted and valued by all the participants of the event.

For this reasons, beside the backstage story, we have chosen tophotograph portraits of the players referring to the classic “Paninistickers style”, but then selecting the slightly “wrong” poses. In theaim to give value and “officialize” the “unrecognized” version ofthe standard photographic poses themselves. With the intention ofexploring the imaginary border between what does officially “exists”and what doesn’t, using sports as our main narrative device. 


Dejós ma fenèstra,
I a un aucelon
Tota la nuèch canta,Canta sa cançon.
Se canta, que cante,Canta pas per ieu,Canta per ma miaQu’es al luènh de ieu.Aquelas montanhasQue tan nautas son,M’empachan de veireMas amors ont son.Baissatz-vos, montanhas,Planas, levatz-vos,Per que pòsca veireMas amors ont son.Aquelas montanhasTant s’abaissaràn,Que mas amoretas
Se raprocharàn. 

Outside my window,There is a little birdSinging all night,Singing its song.
If it sings, let it sing,It’s not singing for me,It sings for my loveWho’s far away from me.Those mountainsThat are so highKeep me from seeingWhere my love has gone.Lay down, o mountains,And rise up, o plains,So I may seeWhere my love has gone.Those mountainsWill lay down so lowThat my dear loveWill come closer. 

“Make it bigger, this is not right, Abkhazia is much bigger than that!” (A player of Abkhazia to the one who drew the map of their country)

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