Auckland City learn their group opponents for OFC Champions League

Auckland City will play teams from Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands at May’s OFC Champions League tournament in Vanuatu.

This follows the draw for the tournament, made at the headquarters of the Oceania Football Confederation on Thursday March 23.

Auckland City will play their group A games in Luganville, while the Group B fixtures take place in Port Vila.

The eventual winner of the tournament wins a berth at December’s Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Main photo: OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp pulls out the name Auckland City who go into Pool A.

The OFC Champions League will take place in Vanuatu from May 14-27, 2023.

Pool A

  • Suva FC (runners-up 2022 Fiji National League)
  • Lupe Ole Soaga (third place Samoa National League)
  • Auckland City (2022 National League champions)
  • Solomon Warriors (2022-23 Solomon Islands S-League champions)

Pool B

  • Ifira Black Bird (2022 Vanuatu VFF National Super League champions)
  • Hekari United (runners-up 2022 Papua New Guinea National League)
  • AS Pirae (2021-22 Tahiti Ligue 1 champions)
  • AS Tiga Sport (2022 New Caledonia Super Ligue champions

Tournament format

After each group has completed a round-robin, the two top teams from each go into semi-finals, to produce the finalists.

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).

FIFA Club World Cup

Seven clubs will compete at the Club World Cup — a Saudi team to represent the host nation, and the representatives from six football confederations, UEFA (Europe), CONMEBOL (South America), CONCACAF (North & Central America), CAF (Africa), AFC (Asia) and Oceania.

Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds, from the J-League, are assured of a place at the tournament after qualifying for the two-legged final of the AFC Champions League (against Al Hilal on April 29 and May 6).

Win or lose, Red Diamonds will take their place at the December tournament.

If they are beaten by Al Hilal, the Saudi team will secure a spot. If Al Hilal fail, their place will be taken by the Saudi Professional League champion club. The current favourites are Al-Nassr whose star player is Cristiano Ronaldo.

More information

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 >>>>

How the draw happened

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