The Cascadia Football Federation is delighted to announce that they have arranged their first ever international friendly on the 26th May against the Chagos Islands. The game will take place in the U.K. at Beckenham Town FC who we would like to thank for their cooperation in creating this fixture.
For those not familiar, The Chagos Islands is a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, situated some 500 km due south of the Maldives. Officially part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos were home to the Chagossians, a Bourbonnais Creole-speaking people, for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the United States to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. Since 1971, only the atoll of Diego Garcia is inhabited, and only by military and civilian contracted personnel.
The sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago is disputed between the UK and Mauritius. The United Kingdom excised the archipelago from Mauritian territory in 1965, three years before Mauritius gained independence in 1968. Because of the brutality of these displacements in the 1960’s and 1970’s, much of the Chagos population now lives in diaspora populations around the world.
Yet, despite living in exile in Britain, Mauritius, and Seychelles, this is exactly what the Chagossian people have done. Sabrina Jean is a second generation deportee, and settled in the UK in 2006 after living in Mauritius. Since 2013 she has organised the Chagos FA, who represent the Chagossian diaspora as part of Conifa – the Confederation of Independent Football Associations.
Coach James Nichols and his management team have already started assembling a squad with some exciting new Cascadian additions
You can learn more about the Chagos Islands and CONIFA here.
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