Chagos Islands national football team
|Association||Chagos Football Association|
|Head coach||Jimmy Ferrar|
|Most caps||Jonatan Hover (39)|
|Top scorer||Jeje Lalpekhlua (17)|
|Current||211 2 (25 November 2019)|
|Highest||209 (June 2016)|
|Lowest||213 (November 2018)|
| Chagos Islands 6–1 Raetia |
(Crawley, UK; 4 December 2011)
| Chagos Islands 6–1 Raetia |
(Crawley, UK; 4 December 2011)
| Ellan Vannin 14–0 Chagos Islands |
(London, UK; 13 August 2017)
|ConIFA World Football Cup|
|Appearances||1 (first in 2016)|
|Best result||12th, 2016|
The Chagos Islands national football team is a football team ostensibly representing the territory of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. However, this area, which falls under the administration of the British Indian Ocean Territory, is uninhabited save for the presence of a US military base on the island of Diego Garcia, after the United Kingdom evicted the local population between 1967 and 1973. As a consequence, the team in fact represents the Chagossian diaspora around the world. They are led by Sussex-based manager Jimmy Ferrar, who has previously managed at Oakwood, Crawley Down and Alfold where he won the Southern combination Div 1 for season 18/19.
In 2004, following the granting of Chagossians living in the UK the right to apply for a British passport, a group of islanders living near Crawley in West Sussex founded a governing body for football among their community, and the wider worldwide Chagossian diaspora, with a view to forming a national team. This resulted in the formation of the Union Chagossiene de Football, which joined the N.F.-Board, an international body for national football teams unable to join FIFA, in 2005. Amongst the activities the UCF undertook was organizing a club side, Chagos Islands F.C., which played in the Crawley and District Football League until it was disbanded in 2010. With no immediate UK domestic outlet for their players to play, the UCF attempted to promote the side in the international arena, attempting to take a team to the 2010 Viva World Cup in Gozo. However, owing to the association's financial situation, and the wholly amateur status of the players, this was not possible. Attempts to reform the club side in another local league in Sussex also failed, leading to the team training regularly, but not playing.
In December 2011, a friendly was finally arranged with the Raetia football team, another member of the N.F.-Board, who not only came to the UK, but also brought a full set of kit for the Chagossian team to use. The game was played at the ground of Oakwood F.C., for whom Chagossian straker Mervin Bhujan was a player, and who arranged use of the stadium, and led to a 6–1 victory for the Chagos Islands. This led to hopes that the team would be able to participate more fully in N.F.-Board events, but lack of finances again meant this was to prove impossible.
In May 2012, a second match was organized, this time against Sealand. This was a first "away" game for the Chagossians, played at the home of Godalming Town F.C. in Surrey, which was used by Sealand for their home games, and resulted in a second consecutive win for the Chagos Islands. However, in spite of successfully staging a pair of games, the UCF was forced to fold.
In February 2013, a new organization, the Chagos Football Association, was formed to continue the management of the Chagos team. The first match organized under the new body was a game against Sealand, taking place in February 2014 at Godalming, and which saw the Chagossians suffer their first defeat. A third game was quickly organized, this time taking place at the home of Crawley Town F.C., in May 2014, ending in a 1–1 draw.
In February 2014, around the same time as playing their second fixture against Sealand, the CFA joined ConIFA, in an attempt to find more regular games. The team played its first official fixture against another member of ConIFA when they turned out for a game against Somaliland in London in November 2014, again ending in a 1–1 draw. In 2015, the CFA announced its intention to attempt to qualify to participate in its first tournament, the ConIFA World Football Cup, via ConIFA's recently announced qualification process, by participating in a tournament hosted by Raetia, the Benedikt Fontana Cup. Originally planned as a three-team tournament, this altered into a two-legged play-off between the hosts and the Chagossians. However, just before the tie was due to take place, the Chagossians were forced to withdraw. This did not stop the ambition of the CFA to participate, with a fundraising effort to help the team make it to the 2016 tournament in Abkhazia announced in October 2015. To this end, the team played another friendly against Panjab in December 2015, which saw the team suffer its heaviest defeat 4–1.
In January 2016, the Chagos Islands were announced as one of the 12 participants in the 2016 World Football Cup. The opportunity to participate in a first ever overseas tournament led to a drive to raise the money necessary to allow the team to make the journey to Abkhazia. The Chagos Islands were successful in raising the necessary funds and took part in the 2016 ConIFA World Football Cup, however the team failed to win a single game and suffered 2 of their biggest defeats in the group stage: a 9–0 loss to Panjab and a 12–0 loss to Western Armenia. The team subsequently lost 3–2 to Somaliland and lost on penalties to Raetia after drawing 3–3 in their final game of the tournament.
World Cup record
|ConIFA World Football Cup|
|2014||Did not enter|
|2018||Did not qualify|
Win Draw Loss
|2 June 2016 ConIFA WFC Placement Round 1||Chagos Islands||2–3||Somaliland||Daur Akhvlediani Stadium, Gagra|
|3 June 2016 ConIFA WFC 11th place play-off||Chagos Islands||3–3|
|Raetia||Daur Akhvlediani Stadium, Gagra|
|26 August 2016 World Unity Cup||Barawa||2–3||Chagos Islands||Sutton, London|
|15:30 GMT||Stadium: Gander Green Lane|
Referee: Steve Lynch
|28 August 2016 World Unity Cup||Chagos Islands||1–5||Tamil Eelam||Sutton, London|
|18:15 GMT||Stadium: Gander Green Lane|
|28 April 2019 Friendly||Surrey||2–3||Chagos Islands||Merstham, Surrey|
|16:00 BST||Harr 39'
|25 May 2019 Friendly||Cascadia||6–3||Chagos Islands||Whyteleafe, Surrey|
|Powell 22', 73'
Boone 23', 78'
Bunjun 51' (p)
|Stadium: Church Road|
|2 June 2019 2019 Atlantic Heritage Cup||Parishes of Jersey||9–2||Chagos Islands||Harrogate, Yorkshire|
|15:00||T. Harris 17', 49', 69'
Lester 39', 50', 83'
Hinds 49', 88'
|Report||Leelah 39', 61'||Stadium: CNG Stadium|
|25 August 2019 Friendly||Kernow||10–3||Chagos Islands||Bodmin, Cornwall|
|15:00||Martus 25', 69', 82', 90'
Cake 36', 49', 72'
Cordell 45', 57', 65'
|Report||Heroseau 15', 49'
A. Tunil 73'
|Stadium: Priory Park|
|1 December 2019 Friendly||Supporting Charities F.C.||1–3||Chagos Islands||Hyde, Cheshire|
|17:30||Smith 30'||R. Singh 28', Hover 49', 73'||Stadium: Ewen Fields|
|22 December 2019 Friendly||Chagos Islands||1–4||Surrey||Crawley|
|M. Chhetri 87'||Report||Martin 29', 59', 74'
|Stadium: Broadfield 3G|
|29 December 2019 Friendly||Chagos Islands||0–6||Panjab||Horsham|
|12:00||Stadium: Camping World Community Stadium|
|6 January 2020 2019 Atlantic Heritage Cup||Chagos Islands||3−3||Yorkshire||Yorkshire|
M. Chhetri 67', 82'
|McGuire 12', 37', 72'||Stadium: Ingfield Stadium|
The following players were called for match against Yorkshire on 6 January, 2020.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Milton Haaria||19 February 1995||17||0||Bayern Munich|
|12||GK||Ciril Hona||8 September 1999||0||0||TSG 1899 Hoffenheim|
|2||DF||Anir Sola||9 February 1997||16||0||Harr Île Mapou|
|5||DF||Arman Calin||14 August 1994||6||0||Diego Garcia|
|4||DF||Ali Ramazan||21 May 1998||5||0||Harr Île Mapou|
|6||DF||Arnold Haan||6 January 1999||1||0||Chennaiyin|
|3||DF||Arman Urban||19 July 2000||1||0||Diego Garcia|
|14||DF||Ahmet Sarg||12 September 1993||0||0||Harr Île Fouquet|
|11||MF||Jonatan Hover||7 July 1990||37||14||Diego Garcia|
|10||MF||Aaron Tunil||25 September 1993||23||2||Diego Garcia AS|
|15||MF||Daniel Tunil||20 March 1988||16||1||Mohun Bagan|
|13||MF||Thomas Gangh||7 July 1996||7||2||East Bengal|
|8||MF||Rowen Singh||25 February 1998||4||2||Diego Garcia AS|
|16||MF||Nathaniel Vibe||20 April 1998||1||0||Diego Garcia|
|7||FW||Michel Chhetri||21 April 1986||32||5||Diego Garcia|
|9||FW||Sunil Meeha||6 October 1995||27||9||Bengaluru|
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Mike Harmeet||25 September 1985||21||0||Diego Garcia||v. Panjab, 29 December 2019|
|GK||Jonatan Sane||30 January 1998||2||0||Diego Garcia AS||v. Panjab, 29 December 2019|
|GK||Michel Ganel||21 January 1994||6||0||Harr Île Fouquet||v. Surrey, 22 December 2019|
|DF||Maane Chelim||1 April 1987||23||0||Harr Île Mapou||v. Panjab, 29 December 2019|
|DF||Saad Singh||28 September 1987||14||0||Bengaluru||v. Panjab, 29 December 2019|
|DF||Izaak Chelim||15 March 1995||9||0||Bengaluru||v. Panjab, 29 December 2019|
|DF||Zachariah Maark||29 July 1994||27||2||Mumbai City||v. Surrey, 22 December 2019|
|DF||Mehmet Sandhu||28 February 1997||0||0||Górnik Łęczna||v. Supporting Charities F.C., 1 December 2019|
|MF||Samuel Hwang Chanteryah||19 August 1985||30||6||Mohun Bagan||v. Surrey, 22 December 2019|
|MF||Agim Hila||27 July 1999||0||0||Diego Garcia AS||v. Supporting Charities F.C., 1 December 2019|
|MF||Wilson Panapa||2 March 2001||0||0||Real Madrid||v, Supporting Charities F.C., 1 December 2019|
|MF||Dan Pamper||29 March 1996||0||0||Bengaluru||v. Supporting Charities F.C., 1 December 2019|
|MF||Paul Bunjun||28 June 1993||12||2||Harr Île Mapou||v. Kernow, 25 August 2019|
|MF||Alvin Heroseau||29 June 1994||8||3||Diego Garcia AS||v. Kernow, 25 August 2019|
|FW||Patrik Emenike||6 October 1995||12||2||Bengaluru||v. Surrey, 22 December 2019|
|FW||Samuel Kalu||29 May 1990||4||2||Harr Île Fouquet||v. Supporting Charities F.C., 1 December 2019|
|FW||Arman Carron||21 May 2001||0||0||Harr Île Mapou||v. Supporting Charities F.C., 1 December 2019|
|FW||Tom Cosma||19 June 1990||15||6||Harr Île Mapou||v. Kernow, 25 August 2019|
|FW||Steven Leelah||7 July 2000||5||3||Diego Garcia AS||v. Kernow, 25 August 2019|
|FW||Ken Sagai||6 June 1999||2||1||Harr Île Forquet||v. Kernow, 25 August 2019|
Selected International Opponents
|Parishes of Jersey||1||0||0||1||2||9|
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
- Stubbs, Ed (30 April 2012). "The Chagossian Dream". In Bed With Maradona. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- Geary, Patrick (7 May 2012). "Ralf Little gets an international cap for Sealand". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "The CFA Was set up in Feb 2013". Facebook. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Sealand to meet Chagos Islands on February 23rd". Sealand Government. 30 January 2014. Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- Baines, James (7 March 2014). "I Went to an International Football Match Between Two Non-Countries". vice.com. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Chagos Islands 1 v Sealand 1". Many Games I Have Seen. 6 May 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Chagos Islands join ConIFA ahead of Sealand game". Non-Fifa Football Updates. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "SL Diaspora Football Team Draw with Chagos Island in a Charity Match". Somaliland Sun. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Chagos ersetzt Panjab". FA Raetia (in German). 22 May 2015. Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Mit Bedauern muss die FA Raetia mitteilen..." Facebook (in German). Raetia FA. 14 June 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- "ConIFA World Cup". Chagos Refugees Group. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Panjab hits 4 against the Chagos Islands". Panjab FA. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "#Abkhazia2016 participants". ConIFA. 9 January 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- Watson, Paul (27 March 2016). "Chagos Islands national football team dreaming of glory as FIFA outcasts meet for ConIFA World Football Cup this summer". Sport 360°. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
Media related to Chagos Islands national football team at Wikimedia Commons