New Caledonia hosts FIWC12 qualifier

The third OFC qualifier for the FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) was successfully staged in New Caledonia over the weekend with 64 participants battling it out for a spot in the regional final to be held in Auckland.

Claude Giraud is awarded the winner's certificate in Noumea

Following live qualifying events in Tahiti and Papua New Guinea, it was Noumea's turn to play host to the tournament with Le Meridien resort providing an idyllic setting.

Family and friends gathered to support New Caledonia's best exponents of FIFA 12 - the latest version of the hugely popular Sony PlayStation® game - with Claude Giraud eventually coming through as the winner.

“It was a very good tournament, I am happy to win this event," said Giraud, who played as Spain in the final match.

"I had a difficult match in the quarter final against Kevin Dongoc. It was very tight but I won 2-1. Now I get to go to New Zealand for the OFC final so I will need to try and get time off work."

Runner-up Ruben Poidei was disappointed to lose 3-0 in the final but said he enjoyed having the chance to compete.

“I have never participated in an event like this as there has never been one here," said Poidei.

"It was such a great experience and I would like to thank FIFA, the sponsors and the organisers for giving us all the opportunity to take part in the game we love playing. Even though I didn’t win, I loved the event.”

Giraud will be joined by six other expert FIFA 12 players at the OFC final, scheduled to take place in Auckland, New Zealand.

The winner will then go on to represent Oceania at the world grand final in May, when reigning FIWC champion Francisco Cruz will try to defend his title against the best 23 players on the planet.

Presenting partners EA SPORTS™ and Sony PlayStation® are behind the running of the FIWC, now onto its eighth edition, and this year's event is expected to be the biggest yet.

Solomon Islands will host the next OFC qualifying event from February 25-26 before the New Zealand qualifier in March.

For those who cannot make the live qualifying events but still want to participate, register here

To find out more go to

Updated On Monday, February 06, 2012