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1.Tell us about your team and the community it represents. What makes it special?

Sven A.Serrano, CFF Founder:

The California National Team was first born out of crushing disappointment. A California exile in Asia, myself, had latched onto the US team in the 1990s as it reached its first World Cups after 50 years of dormancy. I traveled to France in 1998 and to Korea in 2002 to follow the team and cheer its progress. But in 2017 Yanks crashed out of Russia World Cup on a muddy cricket field in Trinidad and Tobago, and I was left with no team to support. I had heard rumors of a #Calexit movement forming back home, something I had imagined back in the 1980s when I worked for the Sierra Club in San Francisco. So I decided, as I now lived in China, to design and order a small run of California National Team shirts, hats, and scarves and take it from there. Through the campaign to sell the gear, I learned about CONIFA and their alternative competitions for unrecognized regions and nations, and thus the idea for an actual California team was born.

California, at this moment in history, is morphing into a nation and Californians into a nationality. We are becoming fundamentally distinct from Americans residing in the other 49 in our attitudes, culture, and values. As part of this peaceful evolution, we proposed and will continue to build our California National Team as a cultural, sporting, and nation-building project.  

I imagined the team players coming not from the coastal cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, or San Diego, but from the state’s Central Valley and Inland Empire, where thousands of immigrant kids play with little hope of a USA call up. The California team would be for them, first and foremost.

2. What types of memories do you hope to create for your team’s fans?

Salvador Torres, CFF Volunteer Coordinator: 

Simply seeing players with California National team jerseys, awesome moments on the field as well as displaying our diversity. 

3. What are your hopes as you join WUFA, and what potential do you see for this new collaborative alliance in worldwide football?

Salvador Torres, CFF Volunteer Coordinator: 

One of our hopes is to have a platform for those players that have not been served by our national federation and provide them an avenue to showcase their talent to a global audience that principles of inclusion, equality, and sporting merit can shine and overcome challenges.