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Abkhazia Beats Panjab To Win 'Alternative World Cup'


A soccer team from the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia has beaten Panjab to win the championship of a tournament for unrecognized territories and peoples.

The Abkhaz team won a shoot-out 6-5 after the teams tied at one goal apiece in regulation and extra time at Dinamo Stadium in Sukhumi, the main city in Abkhazia on June 5.

Panjab -- a British-based team that represents the Punjabi diaspora of northern India and eastern Pakistan -- opened the scoring when Amar Purewal scored in the 57th minute.

But Abkhazia tied the match when Ruslan Shoniya scored in the 88th minute.

Abkhaz player Vladimir Argun scored the final goal in the shoot-out to clinch the title for his team.

In the third-place match, Northern Cyprus won 2-0 against Padania -- a team which represents eight regions in northern Italy.

There were 12 teams competing in the tournamaent, officially held by the Confederation of Independent Football Associations and hosted by Abkhaz officials.

A team called Western Armenia finished sixth in the tournament, while Iraqi Kurdistan finished eighth.

Based on reporting by ConIFA
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