The "other FIFA" that organizes its own World Cup
It could be said that ConIFA is like FIFA, but with states and countries not recognized in the world.
The World Cup is a sporting event that enthuses hundreds of nations around the world. And as everyone knows, this tournament is organized by FIFA, the institution that regulates football worldwide. In total, FIFA recognizes 211 states in the world (more than the UN). Although it seems like a lot of national teams, the truth is that FIFA does not recognize "all". There are many "unrecognized states" or "micronations" that dream of being recognized by the rest of the world. Until this happens, FIFA will not recognize "countries" such as Abkhazia, Tibet, and Kiribati, among others. One of the requirements of FIFA is to have its league, something impossible to achieve for such small countries.
But to give greater recognition to these countries, in 2013 the ConIFA (Confederation of Independent Football Associations) was founded. Its members are only those who represent a nation, dependency, unrecognized state, minority, region or micronation not affiliated for any reason with FIFA or its member confederations. In any case, the ConIFA does establish a series of requirements to be able to affiliate. Currently, it has 34 members.
In 2014, the ConIFA authorities decided that it was time to create a World Cup, but unlike FIFA, this was going to be biannual. The venue for this World Cup was Lapland, a territory that lies between Norway, Sweden and Finland, but the matches were played in a small stadium in Sweden, with a capacity of 5,000 people. This tournament was attended by 12 teams and lasted a week. In the end, the champion was Nice, who beat the Isle of Man on penalties.
The second world cup was held in Abkhazia (a state that is within the territory of Georgia). Unlike the previous edition, in which all teams were invited, a qualifying stage was held in this tournament. In the end, local Abkhazia beat Panjab on penalties and became the new ConIFA champion. The 2018 edition (Barwe 2018) increased the participating teams from 12 to 16 and the champion was Subcarpathian Ruthenia, beating Northern Cyprus on penalties.
The 2020 and 2022 editions were canceled for 2 reasons. The first, the was Coronavirus pandemic and the second reason, was because ConIFA began to give greater importance to continental and women's tournaments. To date, 3 European Cups, 1 Africa Cup and 1 America's Cup have already been organized. In addition, the female version was held a few months ago and the champion was Lapland. It is possible that the 2024 World Cup will be played in Mexico.
Another FIFA-like feature is the National Team Rankings. To make this ranking, matches played against teams recognized by ConIFA and FIFA are taken into account. That is, a team like Kurdistan could play against Germany and could add points to the ranking. Currently, Northern Cyprus is number 1 in the ConIFA ranking.