Donnerstag, 7. Februar 2019


Unknown Player
vs. United Koreans (0:5) | CONIFA World Football Cup 2018 in London
Tuvalu is one of only three UN member nations that made home in CONIFA (the others are Kiribati and Monaco), not FIFA, as they are constantly rejected membership by the latter for no particular reason. As the only of those three, they even made it to a World Football Cup, CONIFAs prime event, when they travelled all the way to London in 2018. That might well have been the farthest any team any traveled to play a World Cup in football history, as they literally live "on the other side" of the globe!
Many expected Tuvalu do lose heavily and get devastated during the tournament, but in fact, the team was in great shape and condition and did much better than many expected. They beat the Chagos Islands 6-1 in a friendly that had to replace the planned match vs. Ellan Vannin, who left the tournament. They also were very close to beating Tamil Eelam, who scored two goals in overtime to get a 4:3 victory in the end. The other matches were lost, but except for a 0:8 against Padania were all not heavy losses, which is a success in itself. A good comparison is probably Tahiti, one of the strongest teams in the Pacific, who played the Confederations Cup in Brazil 2013 and ended their group stage with zero points and 1:24 goals. Tuvalu ended theirs at the CONIFA World Football Cup with zero points and 1:15 goals. You might argue that Spain, Uruguay and Nigeria (Tahitis opponent back then) are slightly better then Padania, Szekely Land and Matabeleland (Tuvalus opponents in London 2018), which is probably true. However, the gap is similar, I believe, given Tahiti is a local powerhouse and has a couple of full and semi-pros, while Tuvalus superstars are a guy famous for being the slowest 100m runner in the last Olympics and a player who played semi-pro football in New Zealand nearly a decade ago. Their opponents, except for Matabeleland, were nearly all paid for playing football and trained daily for years.

The shirt again is from Stingz and is match issued or a player shirt, whatever naming you prefer. It was given to me by the great guys from Stingz, who I can only thank for this one. I love it!

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