A football team representing the self-declared Republic of Abkhazia has won a tournament made up of teams representing territories and peoples unrecognised as sovereign states.
Abkhazia won by beating a team from Punjab, a region spanning northern India and eastern Pakistan, on Monday in Sukhumi, Abkhazia’s biggest city.
Abkhazia has had a contested status since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The last Georgian presence left the territory in August 2008 following a full-scale war between Georgia and Russia, over Abkhazia as well as South Ossetia.
Russia recognised Abkhazia independent on 26 August 2008. The South Osetian president, Leonid Tibilov, wants full accession to the Russian Federation by referendum. The summer was originally mentioned as a date for the referendum, but this now appears to be delayed.
Other competitors included Northern Cyprus, Somaliland, Iraqi Kurdistan and Western Armenia made up of members of the Armenian diaspora from territory which now constitutes modern Turkey.
Abkhazia won the match at Dynamo Stadium 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out after the match was tied 1-1 after extra time. The alternative world cup ends day before the European football championships, which will be hosted by France.
SOURCE: commonspace.eu and agencies
PHOTO: Dynamo stadium