The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) World Football Cup 2024 is set to take place in the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, bringing together stateless people and unrecognized nations. The Kurdistan Football Association made the exciting announcement, revealing that the tournament will kick off in mid-2024 and feature teams from 16 regions worldwide.
Sulaimani, Erbil, Duhok, and Zakho have been chosen as the host cities, with matches scheduled to take place in their respective stadiums. The selection of the Kurdistan Region as the host followed a visit from a CONIFA delegation led by President Per-Anders Blind in March, where they assessed the suitability of the stadiums. Impressed by the evaluation, the decision was made to grant the hosting rights to the Kurdistan Region, a tremendous honor considering the competition from eight other regions that had applied.
The Kurdistan Olympics Committee has wasted no time in commencing the necessary preparations to ensure the success of the event. This prestigious international tournament, the CONIFA World Football Cup, serves as a platform for states, minorities, stateless peoples, and regions unaffiliated with FIFA to showcase their football prowess. Since its inception in 2014, the tournament has grown in stature and popularity, and it is now held every two years. The first edition took place in Sweden, featuring 12 teams, and in 2024, an even grander showcase of football talent and unity awaits.
The Kurdistan football team, currently ranked fifth in the CONIFA world rankings, is determined to claim the top spot in the upcoming tournament. Their exceptional skills and unwavering determination make them a formidable force on the field. As they represent their region, the journey of the Kurdistan team is poised to captivate fans and inspire aspiring footballers globally.
Football enthusiasts from around the world will have the opportunity to witness the excitement unfold in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in 2024 as it proudly hosts the CONIFA World Football Cup. This tournament, known for its inclusivity, perfectly aligns with the cherished values of the Kurdistan Region. Expect thrilling matches, dazzling displays of talent, and a vibrant atmosphere as teams from stateless nations and unrecognized regions come together in pursuit of football glory. It will undoubtedly be an unforgettable event that celebrates the true spirit of the beautiful game.
Jalal Saeed is an experienced journalist who also serves as board member and spokesperson for Kurdistan Football Union.