Champions league returns to Oceania

Football fever will grip the Pacific in June as the Oceania’s flagship club football competition, the OFC Champions League starts.

The champion club sides from each of the Pacific nations will go head to head to decide who represents the region at the 2022 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup™.

According to the Oceania Football Confederation, the revised competition format which is split into two phases was adapted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce travel requirements on teams.

The Oceania Champions League trophy. Football fever will grip the Pacific in June as the Oceania’s flagship club football competition, the OFC Champions League starts. Picture: Twitter

Stage one will determine which clubs contest stage two, which will be an eight-team centralised finals tournament scheduled for August this year.

Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will stage home and away playoffs – involving the champion and runner up from their
respective national league – through June, from which each winner will secure qualification to the finals tournament.

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Papua New Guinea and Tahiti will each host a single leg match between their national league champion and runner up, also in June, to decide their representative.

New Zealand Football has already selected Auckland City FC as their representative for the finals tournament.

Auckland City FC will represent New Zealand in the Oceania Champions League. Picture: Twitter

The club champions of American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga are scheduled to play each other in a centralised qualifying
tournament to decide who takes the final qualification spot, with details still to be confirmed pending border restrictions.

OFC Champions League 2022 national playoffs (dates and times are listed in local time)

June 4 | Sc Ne Drehu v Hienghène Sport at Stade Yoshida, Kone – 3.00pm kickoff
June 6 | Hienghène Sport v Sc Ne Drehu at Stade Numa Daly, Noumea – 3.00pm kickoff
June 6 | Solomon Warriors FC v Central Coast FC – details TBC
June 10 | Central Coast FC v Solomon Warriors FC – details TBC
June 14 | AS Pirae v AS Venus at Stade Pater, Papeete – 8.00pm kickoff
June 17 | Rewa FC v Lautoka FC at Churchill Park, Lautoka – 7.00pm kickoff
June 18 | RueRue FC v Galaxy FC at Luganville Soccer City Stadium, Luganville – 2.00pm kickoff
June 19 | Lautoka FC v Rewa FC at Ratu Cakobau Park, Suva – 3.00pm kickoff
June 25 | Galaxy FC v RueRue FC at Korman Stadium, Port Vila – 2.00pm kickoff
June 25 | Lae City FC v Hekari United FC at PNG Football Stadium, Port Moresby – kickoff TBC

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