The team of Darfur United played its third soccer match in the Conifa World Football Cup in Östersund, Sweden. The match on Thursday between the team of Darfuri refugees living in eastern Chad against the Nagorno Karabakh team ended by the latter team winning with four goals.
Mohamed Omar, the captain of Darfur United, told Radio Dabanga that the all-refugee team competed strongly despite the difference in experience. He added that the match was one of the best in the tournament, despite their loss. Their participation as Sudanese refugees in the Championship, under the auspices of the Organisation of Independent Soccer Associations, was “the most significant”. “It has created a high row in Europe, although Darfur’s voice doesn’t exist internationally.”
The match was refereed by David Murphy and watched by the Ellan Vannin squad, which is playing in the semifinals today (Friday).
El Fatih Younis Haroun, the cultural ambassador for the refugees of eastern Chad, said that the purpose of the participation in the tournament was to deliver a message to the world. “These poor refugees living in eastern Chad camps could come and innovate in all international forums, particularly in the domain of sport, despite the troubles they are facing.”
The team of Darfur United is supported by i-ACT, a non-profit organisation based in the USA. Earlier, it played against Padania FA and South Ossetia. The team will face Tamil Eelam FA on Saturday morning in a match for the 11th place in the tournament. The semifinals are played today: Countea de Nissa FA versus South Ossetia, and Arameans Suryoye FA versus Ellan Vannin.
The Conifa Cup is an alternative world championship from 31 May to 8 June in Sweden for teams outside FIFA. Teams such as South Ossetia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Tamil Sri Lanka battle for the Nelson Mandela trophy in Sweden. The latest member who joined Conifa is Zanzibar, part of Tanzania.
File photo: The Darfur United team in Sweden.
Related: Darfur United refugee soccer team travels to Sweden (5 June 2014)