A beach soccer match between Tiki Tama and Green Warriors during the Festival des îles provided a fitting stage for the official draw of the OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup 2019 which will take place between 17 and 22 June in Papeete.
The tournament in French Polynesia will see New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu joining defending champions and two-time World Cup runners-up Tahiti to compete for regional supremacy and for a spot in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019.
With double-headers scheduled over six consecutive matchdays, each of the five participating teams will face each other once in a round robin format before the final and the third-place play-off to conclude the competition.
OFC Competition Director Chris Kemp says the tournament will be a fantastic opportunity for the beach soccer mad nation to showcase the game across Oceania.
“With the best talent from the Pacific on display we are expecting a very high level of competition and plenty of entertainment for the fans.
“We are confident that Tahiti, which distinguished itself on the global stage both by reaching two World Cup finals and by hosting the successful 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, has the necessary infrastructure and experience to deliver a top class event which we are all very much looking forward to,” said Kemp.
OFC Futsal and Beach Soccer Development Officer Paul Toohey is delighted to see the tournament back on the OFC calendar.
“The programming of the tournament has provided a huge boost for the beach soccer community in Oceania – the anticipation is building and it will be a great moment for players, coaches, referees and all fans of this wonderful sport to have our day in the sun after six long years.
“Since 2011, Tahiti have been the benchmark for beach soccer in our region, and for sure they will do an incredible job hosting the OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup,” explained Toohey.
“On the pitch, it will be very interesting. Tahiti of course, are the team to beat. But everyone knows the quality of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in Beach Soccer, and for sure they will provide a strong challenge. It will also be great to welcome back the hosts and runners-up of our 2013 championship, New Caledonia to the tournament. I believe they are investing in the future with their team and if so, this is fantastic news.
“The new team is Tonga, and we are very proud to finally bring them into our Beach Soccer family. TFA Technical Director Kilifi Uele was very much inspired by FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013 and the Tongan team’s presence in this tournament is part of his vision, and the legacy of that World Cup,” added the OFC Futsal and Beach Soccer Development Officer.
OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup 2019 Match Schedule – Papetee, Tahiti 17-22 June
Match Day 1 – Mon 17 June
New Caledonia vs Solomon Islands
Tahiti vs Vanuatu
Tonga – Bye
Match Day 2 – Tue 18 June
Vanuatu vs Solomon Islands
Tahiti vs Tonga
New Caledonia – Bye
Match Day 3 – Wed 19 June
Solomon Islands vs Tonga
Vanuatu vs New Caledonia
Tahiti – Bye
Match Day 4 – Thu 20 June
Tonga vs New Caledonia
Solomon Islands vs Tahiti
Vanuatu – Bye
Match Day 5 – Fri 21 June
Tonga vs Vanuatu
New Caledonia vs Tahiti
Solomon Islands – Bye
Match Day 6 – Sat 22 June
3rd Place Play-Off