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OFC Women’s World Qualifying venue, draw confirmed

OFC RELEASE – The venue and official draw for the 2003 OFC Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament has now been confirmed.

The Belconnen Soccer Centre in Canberra, Australia will be the official venue for the tournament which runs from 5-13 April, 2003. The Belconnen Soccer Centre was the venue for the highly successful Australia Cup involving the top women’s national teams of Australia, Sweden, Mexico and South Korea last February.

Australia and New Zealand are the two seeded teams and will head Group A and Group B respectively. Joining Australia in Group A are Samoa, Fiji and the Cook Islands. Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu joins New Zealand in Group B.

There will be three matches played per match day during the group stages from 5-9 March. The top two teams from each group will then contest the semi-finals on 11 April. The semi-finals will follow a cross-over format where the top placed team from Group plays the second placed team from Group B and the top Group B team will play the second placed Group A team. The losers of both semi-finals will contest a third and fourth place playoff on 13 April. This match will be the curtain raiser for the final.

The last OFC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers were held in Auckland, New Zealand back in 1998 with the FIFA Women’s World Cup held in the United States the following year. Australia qualified through on that occasion. The decision to push back this year’s World Cup and Oceania qualifiers was to avoid a clash with the FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan last year.

Next month’s winner will represent Oceania at the fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be held for the second time in China from 23 September-11 October, 2003. Sixteen countries will compete for the prized trophy.

2003 OFC Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament

Belconnen Soccer Centre, Canberra ACT, Australia

5-13 March, 2003

Group A

Australia

Samoa

Fiji

Cook Islands

Group B

New Zealand

Papua New Guinea

Vanuatu

Match Schedule:

5th April 2003

2:00pm / Pool A Samoa vs Cook Islands

4:30pm / Pool B PNG vs Vanuatu

7:00pm / Pool A Australia vs Fiji

7th April 2003

2:00pm / Pool B Vanuatu vs New Zealand

4:30pm / Pool A Fiji vs Cook Islands

7:00pm / Pool A Australia vs Samoa

9th April 2003

2:00pm / Pool A Fiji vs Samoa

4:30pm / Pool A Australia vs Cook Islands

7:00pm / Pool B New Zealand vs PNG

11th April 2003

TBA Semi-final 1 – Winner Pool B vs Runner up Pool A

TBA Semi-final 2 – Winner Pool A vs Runner up Pool B

13th April 2003

TBA 3rd/4th Loser SF1 vs Loser SF2

TBA Final Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2

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