The Chagos Islands return to non-FIFA action when they take on Sealand this Sunday having been accepted by ConIFA as the organisations newest member yesterday.
The Chagossians applied to the new non-FIFA organising body only a few weeks ago and chairwomen of the UK Chagos Support Association Sabrine Jean told us after Tuesdays news “we are delighted to be accepted. Now we hope to find a sponsor and play more games”.
|Miguel Mandarin beats the Sealand defence in 2012|
The team have not played since a 3-1 victory over the Sealanders in May 2012. Like that fixture the game will be played in Surrey in England at the home of Godalming Town, who are members of the Southern League.
In preparation for the game joint managers Gianny Augustin and Gino Augustin have conducted daily training sessions this week. Captain Bruno Bertrand and attacker Miguel Mandarin are set to feature on Sunday.
Prior to the Sealand victory 2 years ago the Chagos Islands have played just once, comfortably beating Raetia 6-1 in 2011. A change in personnel at the Chagossian FA has meant a struggle to play games over the last few months.
Sealand, something of a controversy in non-FIFA football, will play their first international since a mixed trip to the Tynwald Hill Tournament on the Isle of Man in July.
The Seals will use an almost identical squad to the one that lost narrowly to Tamil Eelam, were comprehensively beaten by Occitania and won against Alderney last summer.
The Sealand National Football Association recently had an application to ConIFA turned down but have plans to travel to Monaco in May as the chances of a 2014 VIVA World Cup become more unlikely.
Defender Chris Gunn told us “the lack of information from the N.F.-Board is disappointing but we will continue to play in games and tournaments where we can. Hopefully we can start 2014 well with a result on Sunday”.