The Oceania Football Confederation (“OFC”) Executive Committee has unanimously decided at its meeting in Noumea on Saturday to endorse the proposal by the Football Federation of Australia (“FFA”) to resign from OFC and join the Asian Football Confederation (“AFC”)
The FFA had formally advised OFC on 28 February 2005 of their intention to leave OFC and join AFC. The matter was discussed by the FIFA Executive Committee on 8 March who requested the two Confederations to discuss the proposal.
On 23 March, the AFC Executive had unanimously approved the invitation of Australia to Asia and the decision by the OFC on Saturday to allow Australia to leave clears the way for Australia to be formally accepted into the AFC.
OFC President, Reynald Temarii said that “football is an evolving game and we have to move with the times. The move of Australia to Asia is one the Executive and I fully support as it will further develop football in Australia and at the same time provide many opportunities for the remaining OFC members. Their departure is the catalyst we need in OFC to try even harder to develop the game in this region.
Temarii was pleased with the recent OFC U17 qualifying tournament held in New Caledonia in particular the results – “with Solomon Islands losing 2-0 in the semi final and Vanuatu losing 1-0 in the final to Australia illustrates that at the youth level there is little between the top 5 OFC countries. We have a bright future ahead”.
As a sign of the good relations between OFC and the FFA, the two bodies will sign a co-operation agreement next month where the FFA pledges to assist the OFC in football development programmes. “Although they will be part of Asia we will continue to foster friendly relations with them and have exchanges. After all they are still family” Temarii said.