New president wants shake-up of OFC Champions League

posted in: FIFA Club World Cup, News

The OFC Champions League — contested by New Zealand’s national league title winners each year — is in line for a shake-up.

The newly-elected president of the Oceania Football Confederation, Lambert Maltock, says it’s time the competition was given a fresh look, especially as FIFA are set to make changes to the FIFA Club World Cup.

“I want to review the OFC Champions League and look at, for example, making it a professional league.

“We want to create something that addresses the elite players of the region,” Maltock told OFC Media.

Maltock, from Vanuatu, is particularly keen to address the Champions League rule restricting the use of ‘foreign’ players.

The rules currently allow a club to field three players from outside Oceania region and one from elsewhere in the region.

Auckland City’s Brian Kaltak … Maltock’s example of why the rules need to change. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

“An example, Brian Kaltak has been with Auckland City this year but they have to drop him because they can only have three foreign players plus one from Oceania.”

Kaltak (28) is the captain of Vanuatu’s national team and has played 20 full internationals.

“When you get to a higher level of competition your lifespan as an elite player is short and this is one year where he isn’t playing in the region’s top competition,” Maltock says.

“We have to give players enough room, enough opportunity, to play before they start curving back down.”

Main photo: Lambert Maltock. Image: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

After six months as interim OFC president, Maltock was unanimously elected to the role during OFC’s Extraordinary Congress this month.

Interview with Lambert Maltock

This story was first published in March 2022.

More football stories