Thursday, 29 November 2012

Zanzibar top group C after CECAFA Cup shock

A brace from Khamis Mcha gave Zanzibar a shock 2-1 win against last year’s finalists Rwanda to take them top of group C and seriously boost their chances of reaching the quarter-finals.

Khamis Mcha (right) celebrates his opening goal.
Salum Nassor made 4 changes to the starting line-up and it had an instant impact as his side took the lead in only the 8th minute. Rwanda goalkeeper Jean-Claude Ndori completely missed a simple clearance and Zanzibar striker Khamis Mcha, scorer of 4 goals at the 2012 VIVA World Cup, was on hand to coolly slot home. The Rwandan defence was looking shaky and the islanders nearly cashed in on 20 minutes after Ndori dropped a Mcha free-kick, but Abdi Kassim couldn’t steer the rebound at goal. The FIFA side then found their rhythm and twice in the space of four minutes before the interval Jerome Sina was unlucky to see his efforts somewhat fortuitously repelled by Zanzibar ‘keeper Ali Mwadini. Rwanda started the second-half the stronger side but it was the non-FIFA team who doubled their lead in the 62nd minute. Kassim split the defence open with a superb through ball and Mcha showed great composure to roll it beyond Ndori for his 2nd goal. However with 10 minutes to go the Rwandans halved the deficit when substitute Dady Birori headed home a Haruna Niyonzima cross. Despite this a late siege never materialised and Zanzibar held on for all 3 points.

A win against Malawi in their final game would be enough to secure an appearance in the knockout round for the 3rd consecutive finals. The game kicks off at 18:00 (15:00 U.K.). Updates will be available via our Twitter service @NonFIFAFootball.

Match information –

Score: Rwanda 1 – 2 Zanzibar

Goals: Rwanda – Dady Birori 80’. Zanzibar - Khamis Mcha 8’, 62’.

Zanzibar XI: Mwadini; Haroud, Said, Haji, Morris; Makame, Gulam, Kassim, Abdalla [Othman 90’]; Mcha, Juma. 

Northern Mariana Islands AFC Challenge Cup fate postponed days after thrashing by Guam

AFC associate member Northern Mariana Islands must wait to learn the opposition for their AFC Challenge Cup qualification debut next year.

The draw was postponed for the 3rd time on Wednesday and will now take place on December 11th. The Northern Mariana Islands have never played in the tournament which is designed for Asia’s ‘emerging nations’. Having made their international debut in 1998 the Pacific Ocean side have lost 10 of their 13 games and the qualifiers will no doubt prove a tough assignment for the non-FIFA team who hope to join the world governing body next year.

NMI (in white) close in on Ian Adamos
A young Northern Mariana Islands team met improving Guam in a friendly in Yona last Saturday (24th) and were thrashed 8-0, their 2nd-biggest defeat, and it will serve as a cruel reminder of what challenges they’ll face in March.

Match information

Score: Guam 8 – 0 Northern Mariana Islands

Scorers: Dylan Naputi 28', Jason Cunliffe 31', 73’, Zachary Deville 34', 70’, Christian Schweizer 57', Ian Adamos 67', Ken Domingo (o.g) 83'.

Northern Mariana Islands XI: Noetzel; Dunn III, Westphal [Zapanta ?], Kim, Domingo; Rosario, Fruit [Yobech ?], Uzuka, Kim, Lee; Miller.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Zanzibar face tough Rwanda task

After their disappointing draw with Eritrea on Monday Zanzibar will look for an improved performance against Rwanda tomorrow.

The Rwandans top the group after a 2-0 win over Malawi and they will be favourites against the non-FIFA side. The two teams met at the quarter-final stage of last year’s tournament when Rwanda scored a late winner in a 2-1 victory. After Monday’s game Zanzibar boss Salum Nassor complained about his sides lack of opportunities to face other teams in friendlies due to restraints from FIFA.

The game kicks-off at 18:00 (15:00 U.K.). Updates will be available via our Twitter service @NonFIFAFootball.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Zanzibar in opening game stalemate

Zanzibar shared the points with Eritrea after a cagey opening game in group C of the 2012 CECAFA Cup.

Ali Mwadini smothers an Eritrean attack.
Eritrea had the better of the opening exchanges with the islanders reduced to long-range efforts. However on the half-hour they had the best opportunity of the first period when striker Khamis Mcha, scorer of 4 goals at the VIVA World Cup in June, shot wide following a poor clearance from Eritrean goalkeeper Samuel Alazar. Both sides came out for the second-half positively and after Zanzibar tested Alazar on a couple of occasions the FIFA side went down the other end and twice striker Redhi Medhanie went close, with Ali Mwadini at full-stretch to turn his shot over the bar in the 60th minute. Substitute Jakku Joma had the ball in the net for the islanders with 15 minutes to go but it was ruled out for handball. They finished the game on top and saw the best effort of the match saved by Alazar when another substitute, Saif Adballa, controlled the ball on his chest and fired in a powerful half-volley from close range.

The result does little to help the Zanzibar in their quest to make it 3 straight quarter-final appearances in the annual tournament. Interestingly after the game manager Salum Nassor said 'maybe we'd have had a stronger team with exposure as we're not allowed to have friendlies with other teams...outside CECAFA'.

The non-FIFA side are next in action against Rwanda on Thursday when they will hope to gain revenge for their quarter-final loss last year.

Match information

Score: Zanzibar 0 - 0 Eritrea

Zanzibar XI: Mwadini; Haroub, Masoud, Hajji, Morris; Makame, O.Omar [Abdalla 46’], Ally [Gulam 84’], Kassim; Mcha, H.Omar [Juma 68’].

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Zanzibar begin CECAFA Cup campaign tomorrow

Zanzibar will open up group C of the 2012 CECAFA Cup when they take on Eritrea in Kampala tomorrow. 

Kassim in V-League action.
Despite a tough group the islanders will be looking to reach the quarter-finals - a feat they've achieved in the last 2 tournaments.  The Zanzibaris, who arrived in Uganda on Thursday, have a strong squad to select from including defenders Aggrey Morris and Nadir Haroub as well as young striker Ali Badru. Midfield linchpin Abdi Kassim also features having been refused permission to travel last year by his V-League club Đồng Tâm Long An.

Traditionally one of Africa's weakest sides Eritrea have not competed at the CECAFA Cup since 2009 when they surprisingly reached the last 8. The Red Sea Boys won’t be pushovers but if Zanzibar harbour realistic hopes of progressing they must look for 3 points against a side they’ve met just once before, when they won 3-0 at the 2005 tournament. The islanders then meet Rwanda on Thursday before taking on Malawi 2 days later.

Kick-off is at 16:00 (13:00 U.K.) and updates will be available via our Twitter service @NonFIFAFootball.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Interview #1 (November 2012): Gozo Football Asssociation president Alvin Grech.

Having made their international debut at the 2009 VIVA World Cup the Maltese island of Gozo went on to host the finals in 2010. Despite home advantage the Gozitans could only finish 5th, matching their performance at their first VIVA the year before. After consecutive appearances the GFA chose not to send a side to Kurdistan for the 2012 tournament.

The Gozo Football Association runs its own league separately from the Malta Football Association but used to have one team, Gozo F.C., competing in the Maltese system. The GFA joined the N.F.-Board in 2007 in order to improve the standard of players on the island with an eye to Gozo F.C.’s performances in the Maltese league, which had been slumping. To date the most recognisable name to have featured for the national side is Daniel Bogdanović, the former Barnsley striker, who played at the 2010 VIVA World Cup.

With Gozo F.C. having now withdrawn from the Maltese league system and disbanded Non-FIFA Football Updates caught up with GFA president Alvin Grech to discuss the state of the game there. During the interview he explained how football had progressed on the island in both men and women’s categories but remained uncertain in regard to any future participation at the VIVA World Cup.

NFFU: It’s almost 3 years since Gozo hosted the VIVA World Cup. How would you say football on the island is performing?

AG: The Gozo teams are performing very well.  We participate with the senior female team, the under-16 female team and the boys under-15, under-13 and under-11 in the Malta FA national leagues.  The female senior team is second in the national premier league while the under-16 female team is doing well too.  The boys are all in the highest league levels so I can say that we really are doing well. For the younger ages we organize weekly festivals for the under-11, under-9 and under-7 teams. Football is part of our culture and quite all people in Gozo love the game. 

NFFU: Do you feel the 2 VIVA World Cup experiences were beneficial to the players and staff?

AG: Yes it was a nice experience both for the players and the staff.  We hope that our guests are of the same advice.

NFFU:  You were absent from the 2012 VIVA. Do you have reasons for this?

AG: The reason was accounts; we are a small island and do not have great financial means.  It was too expensive for us to go to Kurdistan.

NFFU: Do Gozo plan on attending the 2014 VIVA World Cup?

AG: It depends on many things, at this point it’s too early to decide.  I have an election for another three years term next season, which is July 2014.  So I must consider all situations before deciding.

Gozo XI ahead of their opening 2010 VIVA game.
NFFU:  You thrashed Raetia in January this year – have you played any other games as an island since then?

AG: We just hosted the UEFA Regions Cup [intermediary round] in Gozo between the 13th and 19th October where we played ATF Ialoveni of Moldova, Rinuzi Strong of Latvia and the Russian representatives Olimp Moscow, and we placed second.  The Gozo team won against Latvia, drew against Moldova and lost against the Russians who won the tournament.

NFFU: Do you have any other games lined up?

AG: At the end of December we are organizing another tournament between Gozo, Mosta, Valletta and a foreign team. Valletta are leading the Malta F.A. Premier League while Mosta are third.

NFFU: Are any players from Gozo currently playing in the Maltese Premier League?

AG: We have various players in the Premier league like Daniel Bogdanović and Ferdiando Apap with Mosta, Shaun Bajada with Valletta and Steve Sultana with Qormi.  Many other youth and female players are selected for the Maltese National teams.  In all we have nineteen players in all categories of the Malta national teams.
NFFU: Is Daniel Bogdanović likely to play for the team again in a VIVA World Cup?

AG: If we participate again we will make use of our best elements that includes all players that play in the Premier League like Daniel and Shaun.

NFFU:  Finally, have you ever considered joining the Island Games Association (I.G.A)?

AG: Yes, but they accept only a limited number of members and told us that they were at their maximum.

NFFU: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Zanzibar confident ahead of CECAFA Cup

We spoke to Zanzibar Football Association general secretary Masoud Attai ahead of his sides CECAFA Cup campaign which gets underway in Uganda next week. ‘We are seriously preparing our national Team for the CECAFA’ Mr. Attai told me. The Zanzibaris finished 3rd at the 2012 VIVA World Cup after a disappointing semi-final defeat to Northern Cyprus.

‘We hope to do well, we are leaving from Zanzibar to Kampala on 22 Nov 2012’ he continued before confirming his side will take a full-strength squad including goalkeeper Ali Mwadini and defender Aggrey Morris, who both play for Azam F.C. in the Tanzanian Premier League. Vietnam-based midfielder Abdi Kassim also travels.

Having lost to Rwanda in the quarter-finals of last year’s CECAFA the non-FIFA side find themselves drawn with the Amavubi again and Mr. Attai said of his group ‘The teams are good  but we will do something to be remembered.’

Zanzibar face Eritrea in their first group C game next Monday before taking on Rwanda and then Malawi.

French Guiana secure shock Caribbean Cup qualification on goal-difference

Despite losing 4-3 to Guyana on the final day of group 6 qualification French Guiana made it to only their 2nd-ever Caribbean Cup finals thanks to having a better goal-difference than hosts Grenada. 

The non-FIFA team will appear at the December tournament for the 1st time since 1996 in what goes down as a huge upset in the Caribbean footballing world. Having gone 1 behind to a Vurlon Mills goal in the 12th minute Stanley Ridel drew French Guiana level 22 minutes later. However straight after the interval Walter Moore made it 2-1 before Shawn Beveney added a 3rd. The French side then pulled a goal back via Marc-Frédéric Habran in the 63rd minute only for Beveney to make it 4-2 from the penalty spot with 2 minutes to go. In stoppage time defender Marc Edwige bagged his 1st international goal, pulling it back to 4-3.

Eyes turned to Grenada vs. Haiti and with the Haitians winning 2-0 it was confirmed that the non-FIFA side had completed a fairy-tale qualification. Finishing in 2nd place French Guiana will now go into group B of the finals where they’ll meet Jamaica, Cuba and the other non-FIFA qualifier Martinique. The tournament is scheduled for December 7th-16th.

Match information - 

Score: Guyana 4 - 3 French Guiana

Goals: Guyana - Vurlon Mills 12’, Walter Moore 46’, Shawn Beveney 56’, 88' (p). French Guiana - Stanley Ridel 34’, 63’, Marc Edwige 90+1’.

French Guiana XI: Petit-Homme; E Martinion, Sophie, Torvic, Edwige; D Martinon [Habran 50'], Jean-Jacques, Lespérance, Ho Méou-Choune [Clet 55']; Ridel, Pigrée.

Final table:

French Guiana

Sunday, 18 November 2012

French Guiana set for derby decider

French Guiana can secure a shock qualification for the 2012 Caribbean Cup tonight when they take on neighbours Guyana in Saint George’s.

After drawing with hosts Grenada and defeating Haiti in their previous two games French Guiana will be looking for the 1 point needed to confirm an appearance in Antigua & Barbuda in December. The non-FIFA side could still qualify with a defeat should Grenada beat Haiti in the later game.

The local rivals won a game each in a March double-header in Rémire-Montjoly and should French Guiana qualify it would represent a huge upset from a side few expected would make it past the 1st-round, let alone be challenging for qualification at this stage.

Kick-off is at 18:00 (22:00 U.K.) and updates will be available via our Twitter service @NonFIFAFootball.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

French Guiana record surprise win over Haiti

French Guiana pulled off one of their most memorable results as they defeated group 6 favourites Haiti to seriously boost their chances of a 2nd-ever Caribbean Cup appearance. 

The non-FIFA side have only appeared at one tournament before, in 1995, but a 1-0 win over the 1974 World Cup finalists leave them 2nd in the table after 2 games. Following a cagey first-half it was in-form striker Gary Pigrée who gave French Guiana the lead in the 55th minute, a 12th goal in his last 7 internationals for the AJ Saint-Georges player. Haiti pressed but despite Pascal Millien squandering a couple of good chances and the dismissal of defender Gary Marigard with 2 minutes to go the underdogs held on.

French Guiana have only lost 1 of their last 6 games with FIFA members, winning 5. A point against local rivals Guyana in their final game on Sunday will be enough to secure a shock qualification to the December finals in Antigua & Barbuda.

Match information -

Score: French Guiana 1-0 Haiti

Goal: Gary Pigrée 55'

French Guiana XI: Petchy; Marigard, Edwige, Sophie, Ho Méou-Choune [E Martinon 90']; D Martinon [Habran 80'], Torvic, Jean-Jacques, Lespérance; Darcheville [Ridel 67'], Pigrée.

Friday, 16 November 2012

French Guiana continue their Caribbean Cup qualification tonight

French Guiana continue their Caribbean Cup qualification tonight in Saint George's, Grenada. 

After an impressive 1-1 draw with the hosts on Wednesday, courtesy of a last minute Gary Pigrée goal, the non-FIFA side will be hoping to continue their journey towards what would be only a 2nd ever Caribbean Cup appearance when they take on Haiti at 18:00 local time (22:00 U.K).

French Guiana vs. Grenada on Wednesday.
The Haitians sit top of the pile after defeating Guyana 1-0 in their opening match and it will be a tall order for the French Guiana team to gain a positive result. However with former Bordeaux and Rangers striker Jean-Claude Darcheville and Pigrée, who has 11 goals in his last 6 international outings, in attack there is every chance of an upset.

Updates will be provided by our twitter feed @NonFIFAFootball from 22:00 U.K time.
Welcome to the new non-FIFA football updates blog, which will provide the latest news, scores and fixtures on the international game played outside FIFA's auspices.