This section shows all my articles for The National Student, who I have written for since April 2017, between June 2017 and April 2018, I edited the Opinion section of the site. 

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Foreign Film Friday: Turtles Can Fly review - a brutal but essential must-see

As part of the ConIFA World Football Cup in London, tournament organisers ConIFA have created a film festival showing films from member associations. The nomination from Iraqi Kurdistan was the 2004 war drama, Turtles Can Fly. The film is set in a refugee camp along the Iraq-Turkey border in the weeks leading up to the US invasion, until just after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The story follows a young Kurd, Satellite (Soran Ebrahim), who is nicknamed as such because he goes around the local vi
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Somaliland: The Experiment In Democracy review - a powerful and eye-opening documentary

Most of the stories you hear out of the Horn Of Africa are overwhelmingly negative. But in Somaliland, a state battling for recognition, they have attempted to create something hopeful - a blueprint for the region: a democratic state. Screened as part of ConIFA's film festival, Somaliland: An Experiment in Democracy covers the 2012 elections. Despite being surrounded by a plethora of states where democracy makes the government shudder, Somaliland was founded as one in 1991, when the central gov
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ConIFA World Cup: Final Summary

Whilst logistically covering this tournament was very intense, it was certainly more than worth it and this is something that every single journalist covering the tournament has told me. The tournament was not without its hiccups, but it is worth remembering ConIFA is a small with around 20 volunteers, what they have managed to achieve with nearly 50 games in 10 days was remarkable.  The tournament was full of , bringing together people from many different walks of life, connected by one thi
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ConIFA WFC: Tibet 1-1 United Koreans In Japan (1-4 on pens) @ St. Paul's Sports Ground, Rotherhithe

Yong Ju Shin made a wonderful turn on his marker but a fine last-ditch tackle from Tenzin Yougyal prevented the goal. It was actually Tibet who then got the first goal of the game, the ball was played on the right side to Tenzin Dhondup who appeared to -control the ball but was able to reclaim to send into a cross which whizzed right past the UKJ defence, it appeared the ball was going safely out but was on hand to fire home to give the Tibetans a shock lead. Minutes later, they also hit the
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ConIFA WFC 3rd Place Play-Off: Padania 0-0 Szekely Land (5-4 on pens) @ Queen Elizabeth Stadium II, Enfield

The game was unfortunately without any real major highlights. Both teams looked as though the effect of six matches in ten days, as well as grueling semi-finals in Carshalton two days before, had finally caught up with them. The Szekely Land fans continued with their impressive chanting as the teams trudged along to the beat, very little happened in a first half devoid of chances. The sides met in the group stages with Padania prevailing 3-1 but that was never really in any chance of repeating.
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ConIFA WFC Final: Northern Cyprus 0-0 Karpatalja (2-3 on pens) @ Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Enfield.

Three penalty saves from Bela Csongor meant Karpatalja won the ConIFA World Football Cup with a victory over Northern Cyprus in a packed Enfield crowd. Demand from spectators meant the kick-off was delayed for 30 minutes, in the meantime, a group of dancers entertained the crowd as tension built while the main stand became due to overcrowding and the turnstiles shut.  The display would continue at points during the match, contributing to the vibrant atmosphere. When the two sides met for the
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ConIFA WFC: Talking points from the final day

Following Ellan Vannin's withdrawal, Tuvalu assured 15th place. They played Chagos Islands in a friendly to fulfill the fixture in Bedfont. Tuvalu took the lead after eight minutes when Chagossian goalkeeper clearance ricocheted off the shin of Okilani Tinilau and into the net. Tinalau set of Matti Uaelsei for a clever finish for 2-0. Oride made it 3-0 before Leonce scored the Chagossian's only goal with a penalty. Tuvalu had a plethora of chances and made it four when Tinilau slid a shot pas
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ConIFA World Football Cup: Talking points from the Pre-Final Press Conference

Instantly questions were asked about Karpatalja's run to the final. The side the last team to book their place having replaced Felvidek in May. Duerkopf insisted he was "impressed" by the side at last year's European Championships and pointed out the 2014 competition was won by the County of Nice, another replacement team.  added, "they are a good team", though insisted he respected the whole team, rather than highlighting a few players for close attention. The Northern Cypriot fans have bee
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ConIFA World Football Cup: In Conversation with Kabylia Manager Lyes Immemai

“To be honest, it is the first time we are here to participate in the ConIFA World Cup, so it’s already something big. We are not happy about the results. We could do much better, we could be more prepared," he summarises. The Kabylia team got a real baptism of fire with an 8-0 defeat to Panjab in the opening match, a battling 0-0 draw with United Koreans in Japan meant they were not mathematically eliminated before their final Group D with Western Armenia, however, they were in need of a 14 go
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ConIFA WFC: Chagos Islands 0-1 Matabeleland @ Parkside, Aveley

Straight from kick-off, Hanley Saga attempted to chip South-African born former Zimbabwe international Grobbelaar but his effort was some way away from goal. Grobbelaar was very vocal throughout his time on the pitch, the and his teammates. A mistake from his opposite number Mike Sakir nearly gifted the opening goal. Sakir was unable to get to a ball first giving Mpofu the chance to curl in but his shot bounced wide. Grobbelaar delighted the crowd when he met a loose ball, successfully turn
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ConIFA WFC Semi Final: Karpatalja 4-2 Szekely Land @ War Memorial Sports Ground, Carshalton

Szekely Land, despite enjoying passionate support took a while to get going. Goalkeeper Paval Horvat almost gifted the opposition the opener, when his clearance smashed straight into Sandor Kozman but Barna Bjako was able to recover and just clear the ball off the line. Midfielder Arthur Gyorgyi went on a powerful, surging run down the right-hand channel and crossed for his Csikzereda teammate Laszlo Hodgayi but the shot was wide. Karpatalja goalkeeper Csongor was on hand to save a penalty lat
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ConIFA WFC Semi-Final: Northern Cyprus 3-2 Padania @ War Memorial Sports Ground, Carshalton

Northern Cyprus ended Padania's 100% record to book a place in Saturday's World Football Cup final. Billy Mehmet scored two goals as his side come back from behind twice. The opening stages were a cagey affair, with several hard tackles resulting in treatment needed on the pitch. The referee did a good job at preventing this from boiling over. Things threatened to get heated when midfielder Adil Ucar attempted to play the ball out so a Padan player could receive his treatment, his chip hit the
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ConIFA WFC: The main stories from the penultimate set of matches

Gander Green Lane was the scene of a seven-goal thriller between Tuvalu and Tamil Eelam. Alopua Petoa, Tuvalu's all-time leading scorer gave the Tuvaluvians the lead after just three minutes. Prashanth  then got the equaliser. This was the side's first goal in the tournament. Young striker Sosene Vailune put the Oceania side back in front before FC Tofaga forward Petoa got his second of the afternoon to put his side 3-1 up. In the last few minutes, Drancy United forward Ragavan got his second
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ConIFA WFC: The main stories from the quarter-finals and first placement round

Having been set to take on Tibet at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Ellan Vannin were replaced at short notice by a London Turkish All Star Select XI. Hassan scored early on to put the Turks in the lead firing into the roof of the net. Ali Avci then volleyed in to double the lead, before added two extra goals. Tibet's fans were impressive and they threatened but were unable to score. At the same time, Kabylia took on Matabeleland in Enfield. Both teams took the initiative with fine attacking play but me
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ConIFA WFC Quarter-Final: Barawa 0-8 Northern Cyprus @ Gander Green Lane, Sutton

Despite Bettamer being cleared to play for ConIFA, he and his teammates were powerless to stop an onslaught by the Northern Cypriots. During the first half, Northern Cyprus gave a warning of things to come with several dangerous efforts. Firat Ersalan pulled the strings from the middle of the 3G pitch at Gander Green Lane, playing class and incisive passes every time he got the ball.  Kaya hit a good effort over before Ugur Gok fired a shot straight into  Calvin King. Fantastic build-up play
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ConIFA WFC Quarter-Final: Karpatalja 3-1 Cascadia @ Gander Green Lane, Sutton

Cascadia had the best of the opening chances with Max Oldham, one of the stand-out performers from this tonight putting in another exceptional showing at right wing, doing well to set up Josh Doughty who had scored against Ellan Vannin and Barawa but the no.8 fired over. Oldham fired a shot just over after cutting in and Bela Csongor was forced into a smart save after a melee. Csongor entertained the crowd by taking on a Cascadia attacker and beating in, in a stalemate of an opening 45 minutes.
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ConIFA WFC: Key stories as the group stage ends

At the same time, Cascadia took on Tamil Eelam in Rotherhithe. Jon Nouble put the Cascadians 1-0 up with a penalty on nine minutes. Before the end of the first half, Northwood FC midfielder  Hayden-Smith put two up, meaning Cascadia were three goals into a seven-goal swing they required.  Two goals in quick succession from Farkas put Cascadia within one goal of the quarter-final. Despite a red card to Matthieu Braem, Nouble got the goal before Cascadia added a sixth late on with Elgin City st
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ConIFA reject Ellan Vannin appeal to block Barawa progression

Ellan Vannin appealed that Bettamer was not in the Barawa squad and therefore ineligible. ConIFA explained that Barawa were informed an hour before their first game two players would not be released by their clubs. The next day, Barawa lodged a request to add Bettamer to the squad. ConIFA accepted as a majority of the teams had not been able to comply with the squad registration deadline but did not communicate the update with the other teams.  This morning, the tournament management committ
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ConIFA WFC: Key stories from the second set of group matches

Barawa began the day against Cascadia at Colston Avenue, Carshalton. Staines striker Mo Bettamer put the hosts into the lead on nine minutes by heading down and in at the back post. Richard Whitley and Sam Caine were on target for the second match running with two second-half goals to beat Tamil Eelam. The day ended with the league table as follows - 1. Ellan Vannin (6 points and + 5 GD), 2. Barawa (3 points and +3 GD), 3. Cascadia (3 points and -2 GD), 4. Tamil Eelam (0 points and -6 GD). E
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ConIFA WFC: Barawa 2-0 Ellan Vannin @ Coles Park, Haringey

Coming into the game on the back of two wins, Ellan Vannin needed a point to secure top spot and would have qualified if they had avoided a seven-goal swing. Indeed, Ellan Vannin looked sharp at the beginning and in the opening stages had two decent chances when Frank Jones nipped and crossed to Michael Williams, who failed to get a decent connection on the ball. A clever low free-kick from Jack McVey was just wide as Ellan Vannin dominated both play and chances. Despite that the pace of rig
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