Civil unrest forces New Caledonia to pull out of OFC Nations Cup tournament

New Zealand’s first opponents at the OFC Nations Cup tournament, New Caledonia, have withdrawn due to civil unrest that has led to fatal shootings, protests and widespread damage in their country.

The Oceania Football Confederation have confirmed New Caledonia would not compete at the tournament, due to start on Saturday June 15, 2024.

This means New Zealand will face only Vanuatu and Solomon Islands in Group A, with the games played in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

“The Fédération Caledonienne de Football (FCF) has made the decision to withdraw the national team from the tournament due to the current crisis in New Caledonia,” OFC announced.

The revised schedule means New Zealand’s game against Solomon Islands on Tuesday June 18 will kick off at 4pm (NZT) instead of 1pm.

Group B in Suva contains Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, Samoa and co-hosts Fiji.

The top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals in Port Vila.

New Caledonia has been in a state of civil unrest for weeks after protests against moves to change the country’s electoral laws which pro-independent indigenous groups fear will weaken their political influence.

More than 3,000 security force personnel — half from France — have gone to New Caledonia to try to control the situation.

New Zealand’s fixtures (revised)

Game to be played on Tuesday June 18, 2024

New Zealand v Solomon Islands
VFF Fresh Water Stadium, Port Vila, 4pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Friday June 21, 2024, 2024

New Zealand v Vanuatu
VFF Fresh Water Stadium, Port Vila, 4pm (NZT)

Tournament schedule

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