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This review is from: Outcasts! The Lands That FIFA Forgot (Hardcover)
review by David Carli
Title:"Outcasts! The Lands That FIFA Forgot"
Author: Steve Menary
Publisher: Know The Score Books
"Outcasts! The Lands That FIFA Forgot" is a book written by Steve Menary. It's a book about the world of Unrecognised Football Nations, football nations that are not allowed by the FIFA to internationally represent themselves. It's a publication highly recommended for anybody that is interested in Unrecognised Football Nations (abbreviated to UFN from here on). But it's such a well written book that it's also understandable and interesting for people who don't know much about the world of football outside of FIFA.
"Outcasts" is a book that gets into the seemingly countless amount of inconsistencies in FIFA regulations. This is a book about football nations that want to represent themselves by playing international football matches, but are not allowed to do just that. Also in this book are stories about the NF-Board (New Federation-Board) who want to let all the people play.
You can't write a book about UFN without mentioning the NF-Board, so there's quite a lot of stories about the NF-Board here. There are stories about the good: "the NF-Board's initial provisional membership swells to 17 football federations" and the bad: "[it] should be the first game in the VIVA World Cup, but, not only are there no fans, there are no teams." The stories in the book are very honest. Steve Menary tries to describe people and events as accurate as possible and doesn't try to make things seem better than they are in reality.
NF-Board president Christian Michelis and NF-Board general secretary Jean-Luc Kit, who are very impressed with Menary's book, were actually the ones who recommended me to buy this book. And I'm quite happy for that as I've obviously enjoyed reading it.
The book has it's factual errors though. For example, The Hague is incorrectly mentioned in chapter sixteen as the capital of The Netherlands. However, The Hague is merely the seat of government and not the capital (Amsterdam is the capital) of The Netherlands. There is also an incorrect mention of Australia and New Zealand reaching the FIFA World Cup finals in 1970 and 1974 respectively, while it was actually 1974 and 1982 respectively. And I'm sure there's a few more, but you could describe these errors as minor errors and they really don't have any effect on the quality of the story.
I was happy to see an entire chapter devoted to football from the Northern Mariana Islands. To find a book about UFN is one thing, but to also find out that there's also something about football from the Northern Marianas was quite a pleasant surprise. It's a chapter that describes how the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association emerged and became a provisional member of the East Asian Football Association. It's quite an amazing story about how a man called Peter Coleman, who just wanted to let his children play football, ends up creating a national team that becomes a provisional member of the EAFF. This is a rare example where one of the UFN actually starts getting some recognition. Unfortunately, most UFN, for example Greenland who have been trying to get some recognition for many years now, are not this lucky.
It's a very enjoyable book for people interested in UFN, but it's also very interesting for football fans in general as it gives a whole different perspective of the international football than most people are accustomed to. The stories are not only about football, but also about the protection of human and cultural rights. As someone who is involved with UFN, I'm happy to see that there's now a chance for everybody to read about what's really going on in the world of international football. Rating: Excellent!