Yorkshire To Play International Football
A group of dedicated football fans have applied for a Yorkshire team to compete on the international football stage. The YIFA men’s side will be members of CONIFA, a football association for regions and states not recognised by FIFA the sport international body.
It means the team won’t be allowed into the World Cup, but instead the will be able to take on sides like Tibet, Monaco, Shetland and Greenland in competitions and friendlies.
The team will train and play home fixtures at Hemsworth MWC near Wakefield and will host the Isle of Man for a British derby in their first match. The team also hope to play at grounds across the region to expand their fan base. A network of scouts and coaches attached to the project will recruit players from non League and semi-professional clubs. To be eligible you must have been born in Yorkshire or have strong roots in the county.
Nicknamed the Vikings, the side is the brainchild of chairman Philip Hegarty, who lives near Halifax and is now spearheading a campaign to secure sponsors & financial backers for the team. Ultimately, he aims to introduce a ladies’ team and host CONIFA World Cup or European Championships in Yorkshire.
Speaking about setting up the team Philip Hegarty said, “The reason we’ve set this up is because like a lot of people around the region, we have been talking about a Yorkshire football team for years. It just got to the point where we said let’s see what happens and so far the reaction has been amazing.
We’ve had lots of support off the CONIFA General Secretary as well as other involved people and organisations. We’re appealing for grants and crowd funding. We’re still a fairly new concern at the moment, but we’re hoping to get a few big names involved.”