OFC

OFC cancels Beach Soccer Nations Cup

The regional championship was set to be held in Tahiti and serves as the Oceania qualifier for the Beach Soccer World Cup, but was rescheduled multiple times due to border closures throughout the Pacific.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo said the organisation exhausted all possible options to play the tournament before coming to this decision.

"The sad reality of the coronavirus pandemic is that we have a number of hurdles to overcome to operate our tournaments and we are still unable to do so given the border closures throughout the Pacific," he said.

Tonga building from the ground up

But if you think the regional impact of the first southern hemisphere edition of the tournament is restricted to Australia and New Zealand, think again.

Numerous Oceanian nations are now pushing all aspects of women’s football with greatly heightened vigour, and few are doing more than Tonga.

General Secretary of the Tonga Football Association (TFA) Lui Aho says there has been “more interest from communities to register new women’s team” since confirmation that female football’s greatest jamboree would be heading Down Under.

OFC U20 and U17 championships postponed

However, the tournaments remain on track to take place this year.

The events were supposed to take place last year to stage as qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 and FIFA U-20 World Cups but were delayed due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Last month, FIFA cancelled the FIFA U-17 World Cup that was meant to be held in Peru in October and the FIFA U-20 World Cup that was set for Indonesia in May-June. 

The OFC’s Executive Committee has agreed to try and exhaust all possible options to play them in 2021. 

OFC boosts funding for governance, football development

OFC's 11 Member Associations will receive $NZ700,000 across two years - an increase of $NZ150,000 each year - while associate members Tuvalu and Kiribati will each receive $NZ60,000.

Of the $NZ350,000 annual grant, $NZ100,000 will be dedicated to national team costs with at least 25 per cent to be invested into the women's squad.

A further $NZ100,000 will be assigned to governance and management with the remaining $NZ150,000 to be spent on football development, with at least 25 per cent allocated to women's football.

Health and safety must come first - Oceania Football

OFC announced this week it had postponed all tournaments and meetings until 6 May, following advice from health authorities and member nations.

The affected events include the Under 16 Women's Championship, due to take place next month in Tahiti, which had already been postponed from December following the regional measles outbreak.

The knockout rounds of the OFC Champions League club competition are also being delayed.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo said the decision was made to ensure the safety and well-being of all their members.

Tupapa grab vital draw against Veitongo

Cook Islands club Tupapa only needed a draw from the Qualifying Stage contest in Auckland after they also drew with Lupe Ole Soaga SC earlier in the week.

Coming into the match, the pressure was on Veitongo who went down 2-0 to Lupe last Saturday; that defeat meant only a win would push Veitongo through to the group stages of this year’s Champions League.

The Tongan club came out firing and went ahead in the second minute through skipper Hemaloto Polovili who powered a strong shot home.

Tonga’s Veitongo hunting for victory

Only a victory will see the Tongan club grab the final spot on offer in the group stages of this year’s competition.

After losing their opening game of the three-team Qualifying Stage 2-0 to Lupe Ole Soaga SC, Veitongo have left themselves with an uphill task.

It won’t be easy against Tupapa, who hail from the Cook Islands, and it may come down to which team can best adapt to the turf underfoot at the Ngahue Reserve.

Most of the players in both squads are used to playing on grass pitches and the artificial turf has added an extra twist to the Qualifying Stage.

FIFA Vice President Quits After Audit Raises Questions

The executive, David Chung, was the president of the Oceania Football Confederation, whose 14 members wield little power competitively or politically in FIFA. But Chung, of Papua New Guinea, had outsize influence as the most senior of FIFA’s eight vice presidents.

Chung cited personal reasons for his decision, but the announcement came as he found himself under mounting pressure to step down after an audit into a multimillion-dollar project to build a new headquarters for the O.F.C.

Just Play shortlisted for award

     One year on from the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Pam and six months on from Tropical Cyclone Winston, the Just Play Emergency Programme has been shortlisted for the Beyond Sport Innovation award in recognition of the work in both Vanuatu and Fiji.

PNG Kapuls and Solomon Islands tied 1 all at halftime

Many attempts by Papua New Guinea in the first half shook the Solomon Islands side before flanker Nigel Dabinyaba found an opening at the corner for a cross which Michael Fosters  who was  in front of the goal  mouth dribbled  to confuse the opposition before slamming home the first goal of the match.

However, Solomon Islands retaliated seven minutes  later with a corner kick from striker Judd Molea that curved right through the corner post slipping off PNG goal keepers hand Ronald Warrisan to even the scores at 1-1.