As World Cup approaches, a budding team has no opponents

In this Friday, May 11, 2018 photo, Slavik Gabrielvan, center, the coach of the soccer national team of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh speaks to his players, in Stepanakert, the capital of the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The ethnic Armenian team has the shirts and the shoes, and even practices five days each week on an artificial field a short distance from the center of Stepanakert. The reason for the lack of opponents has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with politics. UEFA and FIFA have a general policy of not allowing teams into competition if they don’t represent an internationally recognized country or territory. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

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