The OFC Executive Committee has agreed to nominate New Zealand’s Auckland City FC as the Confederation’s representative to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup in February 2021.

The winner of this year’s OFC Champions League was set to attend the tournament in Qatar, but the Champions League was cancelled following the group stage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With no winner declared for 2020, OFC’s Executive Committee was charged with nominating a representative from the Confederation based on the principles within the competition regulations of the Champions League.

Article 31 of the OFC Champions League 2020 Regulations establishes a ranking of each team after the group stage, determined in descending order of (a) points, (b) goal difference, and (c) greatest number of goals.

Auckland City went through pool play in this year’s OFC Champions League unbeaten as they topped Group D with three wins from as many matches while scoring nine goals without conceding any, which put them at the top of the rankings.

On Wednesday, FIFA announced the FIFA Club World Cup had been rescheduled from December to next year; this prompted OFC’s Executive Committee to nominate a representative.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo was grateful for the support of the Executive Committee who made a swift decision.

“While we would have loved to have completed this year’s instalment of the OFC Champions League, COVID-19 made it impossible,” Castillo said.

“We want to provide OFC’s representative the best possible opportunity to prepare for the FIFA Club World Cup, despite the challenging circumstances posed by the coronavirus pandemic.”