In a new series of articles, International Surrey Football will be providing an introduction to a number of the already established teams International Surrey Football’s first women’s team could face at some point in the future. Starting with the Karen Football Association.
The Karen Football Association was founded in Minnesota, USA in 2018 and represents the Karen people, primarily located in Burma, South East Asia. The Karen people began to inhabit what eventually became Burma about two thousand years ago. They traveled from Tibet and China and settled largely in the hills bordering the eastern mountainous region of Burma. In the 8th and 9th centuries, the Burmese also began migrating to the area north of what is now the Karen state. Ethnic groups around this region included the Mon, Shan, Thai, Burmese, and Karen. When the British colonized Burma in 1886, these groups all became part of Burma.
The Karen people are a marginalised group in Burma with many living in refugee camps in neighbouring Thailand due to persecution, and many have gone on to relocate and resettle in other parts of the world including the United States, Australia, Canada, England, and Norway.
The Karen Football Association is based in the United States and is the official governing body of the Karen Women’s and Men’s National Soccer Teams. KFA aims to develop a program that unites the community’s passion for football with the importance of gender equity. As an organization, and a team, they feel that it is their responsibility to be an influential role model for others; teaching their culture, and society, that women and men will always be on an equal playing field.
The Karen FA is one of just four members of the World Unity Football Alliance, including Surrey, to organise a senior women’s team prior to joining the alliance, making the Karen FA one of Surrey’s primary targets for potential full internationals, and we hope to travel to Minnesota, or elsewhere, to potentially play the Karen FA in a future fixture.
Karen FA website: https://karenfa.com/
Karen FA Twitter: https://twitter.com/karen__fa
Karen FA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karenfootballassociation
Karen FA Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenfootballassociation/