West Papua Participates in the 2024 CONIFA Annual General Meeting

In the heart of Budapest, Hungary, on the 17th and 18th of February 2024, the international football landscape witnessed the vibrant convergence of diverse football associations at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of CONIFA.

CONIFA, the Confederation of Independent Football Associations, stands as a beacon for football associations not recognized by FIFA. This year's AGM, hosted graciously by the Szekely Land member, was a testament to the growing significance of CONIFA in the global football community. Held at the historic House of the Hungarian Millennium, the event not only fostered critical discussions but also allowed participants to immerse themselves in the cultural richness of Budapest.

The General Assembly served as a platform for reflecting on the accomplishments of 2023 and delineating a roadmap for the organization's future. With a focus on bolstering member organizations and enhancing CONIFA's stature, plans were laid out for the period spanning 2024 to 2028, including the organization of major tournaments and initiatives to strengthen the organization's framework.

A pivotal moment during the AGM was the draw ceremony for the 2024 world football cups, set to be hosted in Bodo, Norway (for women) and Kurdistan (for men). This ceremonial occasion not only solidified the tournament schedules but also amplified the anticipation surrounding the upcoming matches slated for June and July 2024.

In the midst of this dynamic environment, the Football Association West Papua emerged as a proactive participant, embodying the spirit of engagement and collaboration. Since its inclusion into CONIFA in 2019, the association, under the leadership of President Simon Sapioper and Secretary Jeroen Zandberg, has been steadfast in its commitment to representing West Papua on the global football stage.

The presence of President Sapioper and Secretary Zandberg at the AGM provided an invaluable opportunity for the Football Association West Papua to engage with CONIFA members from across the globe. Discussions ensued regarding potential matches and the prospect of hosting a tournament later in the year. Notably, the association expressed its readiness to organize an event for four teams in The Hague, underscoring its capacity and determination to facilitate international football exchanges.

Moreover, the Football Association West Papua articulated its aspirations to spearhead the organization of an Oceania cup in the region, inviting participation from both represented and unrepresented nations. This initiative reflects the association's broader vision of fostering inclusivity and solidarity within the Oceania football community.

As the curtains closed on the 2024 CONIFA Annual General Meeting, the Football Association West Papua left Budapest with a spirit of unity, collaboration, and global citizenship that defines both CONIFA and West Papua.

The Football Association West Papua will continue to elevate its profile on the international stage, embodying the power of football to transcend borders, unite nations and provide the West Papuan people much-deserved pride in their heritage and hope for a peaceful future.

Photos left: 1. President Simon Sapioper with the team shirts of the CONIFA members. 2. CONIFA Asia-Oceania members: East Turkestan, West Papua, Kashmir, Tamil Eelam. 3. Presentation by CONIFA President Per-Anders Blind of the Women World Football Cup 2024