**EDITOR’S NOTE: This weeks article is a very special post by Cascadia Undergrounds very own Trevor Owen – who has been working here behind the scenes and will be travelling with the Cascadia Football Team as it heads to London for the CONIFA World Cup.**
As the official Team Cascadia roster has been announced and tickets to London for the team are purchased, we at Cascadia Underground are ecstatic to be sponsors of Team Cascadia’s Trip to compete in the CONIFA World Football Cup 2018. Competing on a global stage with millions of spectators is such a big opportunity, and not just to show our passion for soccer. While playing “The Beautiful Game” is the purpose of the trip, this week, CAFF have agreed to allow some employees and contributors at Cascadia Underground (myself included) to accompany the team in a fully self-funded cultural capacity on their trip to compete in England. Simply put, we’re joining Team Cascadia.
As a Seattle native, I had an affinity for Cascadia from the minute I heard about bioregionalism in 7th grade. I spent that majority of my twenties living overseas in Romania, England and Australia, always finding that whenever I got some time to myself, I yearned for the hallmarks of Cascadia; the clarity of the air, the verdant volcanos and the peculiar traditions. When I returned home three years ago, I began volunteering for the Yes Cascadia campaign, affirming my belief that bioregionalism and an active resistance are the best ways to maintain the things I love about here.
A couple of months ago, I started working at Cascadia Underground. I had never heard of Cascadia Association Football Federation at the time, but I can’t say I was surprised. Of course there was a big soccer group I chuckled to myself, Cascadia is soccer country. It should come as no surprise considering the first sporting match played in the Kingdome was the most attended soccer match in North American history at the time. Did I mention international icon Pele scored the first goal? In a current context, the Cascadia Cup represents one of the most hotly contested championships in global soccer, and has put the zeal and commitment of Cascadian fans on the map. Whatever your reason for watching, the fact is, “the beautiful game” unites people, and for a movement seeking to increase our interdependence as much as our independence, soccer is a wonderful conduit.
When the opportunity to partner with CAFF to bring together a team for the CONIFA World Football Cup 2018 in London arose, it was a no brainer. The Confederation of Independent Football Association (CONIFA) is a sporting association that reaches hundreds of millions of people worldwide for cultural and autonomous regions that are not recognized by FIFA or the United Nations. Like Cascadia, these places have something about them that the people there yearn for. They too are unforgettable. As the only North American team competing this year, Cascadia represents the only team coming from a colonizer perspective. For other teams, Tibet, Catalonia, Tamil, Kurdistan – they are using the tournament as a tool to gain international recognition ,whereas Cascadia seeks to use bioregionalism as a way to decolonize, and return to boundaries and borders rooted in a pre-colonial watershed reality.
At the end of May, Cascadia will send an all volunteer and grassroots team of 23 players, and 7 support staff to London to make history, competing under a bioregional flag in our first ever international appearance. For the most up to date information on Team Cascadia, visit the CAFF website and their official media partner Prost Amerika. We’ll keep you posted here, about our efforts to bring the best of Cascadian culture and spirit to London. if you want to join us and support the first ever Cascadian International Team in London, reach out and we’ll have you looking like a Sasquatch in no time. And most importantly, Viva Cascadia and Go Doug Go!