After suffering two straight defeats in the group stage, the Tibetan men’s national football team’s hopes of advancing in the CONIFA Asia Cup were dashed. The team’s efforts on the field were not rewarded with victories over the weekend, as they lost to the Hmong FF and the Tamil Eelam FA.
Despite scoring three goals from the penalty spot and one goal from open play, Team Tibet fell to Hmong FF, 5-4, in the season opener. The Tibetan team’s tournament hopes were dashed when they were defeated by the unexpectedly strong Tamil Eelam FA by a score of 3-1. The lone goal scored by the Tibetans was a penalty kick.
Many have speculated that Team Tibet’s disappointing performance in the competition might be attributed to the absence of key players from India who were unable to participate owing to visa issues. The Tibetan team in Portugal was short eight players from India who had Identity Cards (IC) but were unable to go with them owing to visa issues. They will, however, be returning to the squad for the next European football trip that will take them to France and Belgium. The current team has Tibetans from India, the Americas, Europe, and Australia, among other places.
The difficulties encountered by the Tibetan squad are many; the players came from all over the globe, yet they were unable to conduct a complete training camp before the event owing to financial and logistical restraints. The supreme Tibetan football governing body also suffers from a lack of resources. Fans from all across the globe chipped in to help cover the team’s travel costs to get them to the event.
The CONIFA Asia Cup, to be held from August 4-8 in Alcochete, Portugal (south of Lisbon), will include teams from Asian areas and countries that are not recognized by FIFA. This edition of the CONIFA Asia Cup included three teams: Team Tibet, Hmong FF, and Tamil Eelam FA.
The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) is crucial because it serves as a hub for football federations that fall outside of FIFA’s jurisdiction. This worldwide charity backs squads that represent under-recognized countries, regions, minorities, and territories.