Category: World Unity Football Alliance

Final Games Postponed, but 2022/23 Season Schedule Announced

Following discussion and consultation over the weekend International Surrey Football has made the decision to postpone our 2 remaining men and women’s friendlies, scheduled for June 5th and June 12th, due to a number of factors outside the Surrey’s control. This follows one of the busiest summers in our history hosted by Surrey with spectators in attendance for the first time since 2019. With 4 games played in May, 1 game each in Merstham and Woking, as well as 2 games in Dorking. The Surrey men went undefeated in a summer schedule for the first time this year, winning games against Matabeleland and Hampshire, before drawing with the Chagos Islands, the Surrey women meanwhile won their only game of the summer against the Afghanistan Women’s Development team in their first international fixture since forming last year.

Those that had pre-ordered tickets for this Sunday’s friendly against Cascadia will receive a full refund, please allow several days for this refund to be fulfilled. Those with programme sponsorships for these final games will have their coverage extended to all Surrey homes games in the 2022/23 season at no extra cost.

The decision stemmed from opposition sides struggling to raise enough players as we head into the holiday season before players look towards pre-season in July, as well as an increasingly shrinking timescale to make suitable alternative arrangements and the financial obligations around them. It was eventually agreed that postponing the games was the most suitable option and instead decided that focusing on the 2022/23 schedule would benefit both teams longer-term as International Surrey Football works to transition to a regular game schedule meaning the teams would play the same number of fixtures, more frequently, allowing the teams to work towards some form of summer tournament under the World Unity Football Alliance (WUFA) banner to conclude each season.

The new schedule will see both Surrey men and women’s teams play 3 friendly fixtures during the club season, followed by a post-season friendly and concluding with both Surrey teams aiming to host a 4-team mini-tournament.

The Surrey men will aim to host its second edition of the WUFA World Series: Surrey Stage. First hosted in 2021 behind closed doors at Merrist Wood College, the edition was won by the Chagos Islands on penalties against Barawa. The 2023 edition will see 4 teams play in the knockout scenario over a single weekend. Teams, venue and dates to be confirmed.

The Surrey Women meanwhile will host the first-ever WUFA Women’s Cup, a new women’s mini-tournament, similar to the WUFA World Series, it will take place over a single weekend as Surrey welcomes WUFA members for the first tournament under its banner.

Details of all the games to be played, including opposition, dates and venues are all to be confirmed and will be announced as details become available. Sponsorship options for all home games include mini-tournaments are

Surrey Women Planning to Host Afghanistan Development team in Dorking

Her Game Too was founded by football fans to tackle and call out the sexist and misogynistic abuse suffered by women and girls in football. (HerGameToo) Studies show that 64% of girls quit sport around the ages of 16-17. (GM Moving) The right to play sport is for everyone and the struggle for that right has been felt by sportswomen in Afghanistan for decades.

In 2007 the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee established the first Afghanistan national women’s team, made up of players from Kabul and in 2010 they played their first official fixture against Nepal in the 2010 SAFF Women’s Championship, in August 2021, that dream looked bleak as the Taliban captured the Afghan capital, Kabul, and women’s sports in Afghanistan abruptly ended.

International Surrey Football is therefore delighted to announce that we will be hosting the Afghanistan Women’s Development Team in a friendly fixture on Sunday 29th May at the Meadowbank Stadium in Dorking, which will also mark our Surrey Women’s first full debut since playing their opening trial game against the University of Surrey in 2021 which was won 8-1 by the county team. The game in Dorking will also be Surrey’s first game where fans will be able to attend and support the team on such an important occasion.

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The Afghanistan Women’s Development team is made up of players forced to leave their homes in Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul to Taliban forces and the withdrawal of NATO forces in August 2021. The team had been planning to compete in the under-23 Central Asian Football Federation’s women’s championship, unfortunately, those plans fell apart suddenly with the Taliban’s quick advance on the Afghan capital in scenes many of us will remember. (The Athletic [Paywall])

This event placed all Afghan women’s players at immediate risk, with many players encouraged to destroy their own kit to protect themselves and not be identifiable as footballers. Fortunately, many of the players and their families were able to safely leave Afghanistan, the women’s first team, now based in Melbourne, Australia and recently admitted to the regional Victoria football competition with assistance from A-League side Melbourne Victory FC. (ESPN) As well as some Afghan women’s youth teams that were able to safely relocate to Portugal. (ITV News)

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Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Women’s Development team were initially unable to be evacuated to the UK. The team went into hiding on their journey to Kabul’s airport. They were at the airport when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at a gate on the perimeter, killing 170 Afghan nationals as well as 13 US service members. It wasn’t until they had managed to safely cross the border into neighbouring Pakistan that they were able to leave for the UK with the help of Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani that the team were able to reach the UK and are able to train at Leeds United FC. (The Guardian)

The Afghanistan Development team recently enjoyed a trip to London with a game against the UK Parliamentary Women’s team with assistance from Amnesty International and played at Dulwich Hamlet and included a visit to Westminster. The Afghan team won every game they played against the British MPs. (Amnesty UK)

The plan to bring the team to Surrey isn’t over just yet, with travel and accommodation costs to cover for what is being planned as a 2-day trip for the Afghan players, International Surrey Football will be running a crowdfunding campaign, as well as seeking donations, to help contribute towards the travel and accommodation expenses for their stay in Dorking.

As well as individual donations, larger corporate donors can contact us directly to discuss sponsorship opportunities as well as to help cover the various costs for travel and accommodation.

Donations can be made to: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/afghanistan-to-dorking-football

Interested sponsors can contact us at info@intsurreyfootball.co.uk to help cover travel, accommodation, and other matchday-related expenses.

Surrey vs Chagos Classic Returns in Dorking

International Surrey Football is delighted to announce that we will be welcoming the Chagos Islands team once again to Surrey, this time taking place in Dorking at Meadowbank stadium, home to National League South side Dorking Wanderers and the Surrey County FA.

Surrey and the Chagos Islands, are two of the closest teams in WUFA, not in terms of actual geography, the 5,900 miles that separate the largest of the atolls, Diego Garcia and the host town of Dorking, but in terms of where the two teams are actually based, with the Chagos Islands team being based much closer to Surrey’s border in Crawley in Sussex.

The game will be the fifth such meeting between the two teams, where goals have never been short in previous games, the four games already played between these two teams have seen 5 goals scored on 3 occasions with the 3-1 win to the Chagos Islands in the opening game of the WUFA World Series: Surrey Stage last year being the lowest scoring game between the two teams.

Surrey Manager Matt Nash will be looking to show progress this summer with a game against familiar opposition a good opportunity to show it against a clear benchmark when comparing to previous fixtures, something that would be harder to clearly gauge against Matabeleland and Hampshire which Surrey have never faced before.

The game will be held at the Meadowbank Stadium in central Dorking on Sunday 22nd May, kicking off at a slightly later 3.30 PM.

e-tickets will be available from today: tickets.intsurreyfootball.co.uk

Surrey to Host Matabeleland in Opening 2022 Friendly

International Surrey Football is pleased to announce that the Surrey men’s team will be opening their 2022 post-season friendlies by hosting the Matabeleland diaspora team at Merstham Football Club on Sunday 8th May, the game will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

Surrey and Matabeleland, both members of the World Unity Football Alliance, will meet for the first time on Sunday 8th May at Merstham Football Club, where Surrey last hosted a game in front of spectators, playing the Chagos Islands at the Isthmian League club’s ground in April 2019, and both teams are excited to meet on the pitch for the first time later this year.

Matabeleland, established in 2016, the southern African team are best known globally for their participation in the 2018 World Football Cup held in London where they quickly became a fan favourite during the tournament. 2021 saw the establishment of the Matabeleland Diaspora team, representing Matabeleland from within the United Kingdom, and the team that Surrey will be hosting in May.

The Matabeleland diaspora team played their first game in September 2021 against the Welsh Football Fans for Independence with Matabeleland winning emphatically 6-0 against their hosts. Surrey meanwhile will be looking to build on the work of manager Matthew Nash having managed the Surrey side for the first time last summer as we hosted the Chagos Islands in a friendly, before welcoming teams for the inaugural edition of the WUFA World Series, all games were played behind closed doors at Merrist Wood College near Guildford.

Surrey will be hosting a number of men and women’s friendlies in May-June 2022, and we encourage fans to keep their eyes peeled for more information as it’s announced.

The game will be held at Moatside, home of Merstham Football Club on Sunday 8th May, kicking off at 3pm. Only e-tickets will be accepted at the gate but can be purchased at any point before kick-off, cash may be accepted in the clubhouse and done so at the discretion of Merstham Football Club.

Tickets are available for purchase from today: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/surrey-vs-matabeleland-tickets-296585343747

Surrey Hosts of Inaugural 2022 WUFA Women’s World Unity Cup

International Surrey Football is delighted to announce we have been selected by the World Unity Football Alliance (WUFA) to host the inaugural edition of the WUFA Women’s World Unity Cup, WUFA’s first major football tournament, and what will be one of the largest women’s non-FIFA international football tournament ever held, taking place in Surrey between 19th-25th June 2022, becoming the premier “women’s world cup” tournament in non-FIFA football.

International Surrey Football was selected by the World Unity Football Alliance for the prestigious opportunity of hosting the alliance’s inaugural women’s tournament after presenting a strong case to its members of what the region could offer teams, supporters, and sponsors in terms of ease of access, quality of venues for matches and training, providing a truly global tournament to remember.

The 2022 Women’s World Unity Cup will be the first major non-FIFA tournament held in the United Kingdom since a senior men’s tournament, hosted by the Barawa FA, was held at venues across Greater London in 2018, which included games at 3 Surrey-based venues, Carshalton Athletic FC, Fisher FC, and Sutton United FC, with the tournament seen as being responsible for a lot of the modern interest in non-FIFA football.

Credit: Sheena Booker (@GirlTinyShooter)

With the target now firmly set, Surrey Women’s manager Stephen Satterly will be looking to prepare a Surrey squad that played its first training game against the University of Surrey earlier this year, in what will prove to be an intensive tournament schedule. Each participating team will play 5 games in just 7 days making the need for rotation and managing minutes vitally important to a county side looking to win its first major honours for either men’s or women’s teams and trying to keep the trophy on home soil.

Matches will be played in 5 venues across Surrey, with 4 venues hosting group stage, placement, and knockout games, with a 5th venue hosting the 3rd place playoff and final on the final day. The venues selected to host the games will be confirmed in the coming months as International Surrey Football works to finalise arrangements with a number of host venues for the tournament which will see a total of 20 games played across those 7 days during the tournament.

All games will be live-streamed globally with details of how to watch the tournament coming soon, as well as information regarding ticketing and tournament voluntary opportunities to be made available as well. All 8 teams participating in the tournament will be based out of the county town of Guildford, hosted at the University of Surrey’s student accommodation, with access to training facilities at the Olympic standard training complex at Surrey Sports Park.

Which 7 teams will join Surrey in the tournament is subject to further review and confirmation as teams confirm travel arrangements and any visa or similar requirements necessary before they can participate, each team will be announced later this year. Some teams like Karen FA already beginning preparations with intentions to participate in their first tournament after winning 2 games against local college soccer teams.

The region is best known for its expansive countryside, with the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty extending across much of the southern portion of the county (Credit: Alex Manders)

We are pleased to welcome a number of initial supporting partners that have so far assisted in the planning and early preparations for the tournament, Football Rising, Merrist Wood College, Midfield Generals, Surrey Sports Park, University of Surrey, and WatchISF. We look forward to continuing our work with them as well as expanding this list as we work with a growing number of commercial partners to support the delivery of the tournament.

Interested commercial partners can get in touch at info@intsurreyfootball.co.uk to request a sponsorship brochure and discuss opportunities. Title sponsorship remains available as well as a limited number of local sponsorship slots available to local businesses at a discounted rate.