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Next year’s European Football Championships are scheduled for June 7-29. Switzerland and Austria are sharing hosting duties, with matches scheduled in Vienna, Klagenfurt, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Zurich, Basel, Bern, and Geneva. Overseen by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the Championship will have Austria and Switzerland mobbed with soccer-mad Europeans from every corner of the continent.
A few weeks later, from July 7 through 13, the second VIVA World Cup, a competition run with far less fanfare, will take place in the Swedish city of Gällivare. Hosted by the Sápmi Football Association, the football club of the indigenous Arctic Sámi people, the VIVA World Cup allows teams representing nations and subnational groupings without membership in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) to compete against other subnational groupings. An umbrella organization called the Nouvelle Fédération-Board (or NF-Board) offers a form of legitimization.
Participating teams represent a hodgepodge of entities: microstates, breakaway regions, places with a strong regional identity, and transnational peoples like the Sápmi and the Roma. Among European members of the NF-Board are Chechnya, Wallonia, Occitania, and Monaco.
Klagenfurt in June and Gällivare in July? Why not?