There’s An Actual Effort To Create A Non-FIFA Sanctioned Cascadia National Team

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

“Cascadia”, as a region, is made up of the Pacific Northwestern American states of Oregon and Washington, plus that portion of Canada that includes Vancouver and its mountainous environs (or, more broadly, the province of British Colombia). As far as anyone can tell, Cascadia’s most remarkable features, as a sociopolitical concept, relate to the natural splendor of the region, which fosters like-minded notions of environmentalism and a distinct detachment from the eastern-based governments of the United States and Canada. In other words, Cascadia is for hippies*.

There’s even a Cascadia independence movement, focusing on the future of “bioregion”, though it’s hardly approaching critical mass in a manner worth noting. They do have a flag, though.

Here’s Portland fans celebrating the last non-MLS intra-Cascadia match against the Vancouver Whitecaps with a display of the Cascadia flag back in 2010:

And another from the Timbers clash with the Whitecaps from August of last year:

And because there’s a flag and some semblance of a sense of independence, people in Cascadia are ready for that next step towards proclaiming themselves worthy of international recognition: a national soccer team.

On January 26th, a group calling themselves the “Cascadia Association Football Federation” (CAFF) will convene their first meeting at the headquarters of soccer-themed energy drink makers Golazo in Seattle. On the agenda are ratifying bylaws, defining player eligibility, approving a crest and jersey, and electing board members. With those tasks completed, the CAFF will move forward with their application to join the N.F.-Board, the association that helps govern soccer for groups that do not fall under the auspices of FIFA (including, but not limited to, semi-autonomous regions, unrecognized states, stateless peoples, and microstates). The N.F.-Board runs the VIVA World Cup, in which the CAFF hopes to one day compete.

Oddly, the most famous team of this ilk, the Catalonia national team, is not a member of the N.F.-Board.

The CAFF announcement talks of the positive response they’ve received from soccer people as well as from the non-FIFA community around the world.

This large undertaking is possible because of the incredible response we have received not only from them but from others within Cascadia and notably also from those around the globe who have reached out to help us.

The Non-FIFA football community is very interested in what we are doing and have pledged to help in whatever they can to assist us with throughout this process. The NF-Board as well as their South American confederation CSANF officially have contacted us with great interest.

We have also been encouraged by many in the non-FIFA community who believe that our application will likely be viewed favorably. Several NF-Board member Football Associations (FAs) including Quebec have even contacted us about potential friendlies already but there is still much work to be done before those can happen.

The idea of a Cascadia national team isn’t exactly new. Posters on sites like Big Soccer have been proposing rosters for Cascadian teams for years, with the requisite bickering over eligibility and the like. The notion that someone plans to take that concept and attempt to bring it to fruition as reality is the stuff of message board wet dreams and could lead to a spate of similar movements in places like Texas, New Jersey, Appalachia, the Middle Upper Midwest, and Ark-La-Tex.

Meanwhile, MLS is hoping to mollify Cascadian fans made angry by the league’s filing for a trademark on the name “Cascadia Cup”, a supporter-created trophy contested between the three Cascadian teams each season. What an ornery bunch.

Read the CAFF press release for more details

*This is an admitted oversimplification. Cascadia is also for environmentally conscious yuppies, hipsters, nerds, craft beer connoisseurs, software engineers, lovers of the rain, D.B. Cooper enthusiasts, and everyone who enjoys the smell of a good fir tree.

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