Seven Oceania clubs have earned the right to contest this year’s OFC Champions League with either Auckland City or Wellington Olympic.
A series of national play-offs has decided the clubs that will represent Oceania member nations at the OFC Champions League tournament to be held between May 14-27.
The eighth team at the tournament will be the winner of Auckland City and Wellington Olympic who play a two-legged tie to decide which club will represent New Zealand.
The seven teams already qualified are:
- Suva FC (runners-up 2022 Fiji National League)
- AS Tiga Sport (2022 New Caledonia Super Ligue champions)
- Hekari United (runners-up 2022 Papua New Guinea National League)
- Lupe Ole Soaga (third place Samoa National League)
- Solomon Warriors (2022-23 Solomon Islands S-League champions)
- AS Pirae (2021-22 Tahiti Ligue 1 champions)
- Ifira Black Bird (2022 Vanuatu VFF National Super League champions)
The OFC Champions League tournament will split the eight teams into two groups of four.
After each group has completed a round-robin, the two top teams from each go into semi-finals, to produce the finalists.
The draw for the tournament will take place on March 22.
The tournament will take place in Vanuatu from May 14-27, 2023.
The winner of the eight-team tournament will qualify to represent OFC at the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia (December 12-22).
The New Zealand qualifiers
Wellington Olympic host the first leg on March 11 after warming up with three wins at the local Hilton Petone pre-season tournament.
They have beaten Wellington Phoenix 3rd team 4-1, Western Suburbs 3-2 and Waterside Karori 2-1 in the Petone competition.
Meanwhile, Auckland City had a short break following their FIFA Club World Cup campaign in Morocco but will be ready for the two-game play-off.
City and Olympic qualified for the OFC Champions League play-off by reaching the grand final of the 2022 Men’s National League, a final won 3-2 by Auckland City.
READ MORE: Auckland City land historic quadruple after winning five-goal Grand Final >>>>
Game to be played on Saturday March 11, 2023
Wellington Olympic v Auckland City
Martin Luckie Park, Wellington, 2pm (NZT)
Game to be played on Saturday March 18, 2023
Auckland City v Wellington Olympic
Kiwitea St, Sandringham, 3.30pm (NZT)
The Oceania Football Confederation plans to launch a professional men’s league in 2025, a competition that will replace the current OFC Champions League.
READ MORE: FIFA president pledges support for launch of professional league in Oceania >>>>
READ MORE: Our previous stories about the OFC Champions League >>>>