Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek

Representatives from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga will kick-off the OFC Men’s Champions League 2024 – Qualifying tournament in Nuku’alofa this weekend, with a place in the final tournament in Tahiti in May at stake.

The single-group, round-robin event features American Samoan side Vaiala Tonga FC, Tupapa Maraerenga FC from the Cook Islands, Samoa’s Vaivase-Tai FC, and host representative Veitongo FC, with the side finishing top after three match days securing their place in Group B of the OFC Men’s Champions League 2024.

All three match days will be streamed LIVE and FREE on FIFA+

For host side Veitongo FC, this will be their sixth appearance at the qualifying stage but are yet to advance past the initial round. With this being the first OFC competition held in Tonga for many years and a partisan home crowd behind them, hopes are high that the Tonga Major League champions can finally break their duck and make an appearance in Tahiti.

Samoa’s Vaivase-Tai FC are seven-time domestic champions but have yet to make an appearance in the OFC Men’s Champions League. With this being the club’s first experience of a qualifying stage, opportunities are abound for a potential new representative from Samoa.

Perennial Cook Islands’ champions Tupapa Maraerenga FC have the most Champions League experience of the four sides on show in Tonga. Since 2010, the Tupapa have won an incredible eleven league titles, including the 2023 championship. They narrowly missed out on qualification last year, finishing second in the preliminary round but did represent their nation at the 2019 OFC Champions League, winning all three of their qualifying games on-route to the group stage.

Coming from one of the smaller OFC Member Associations, Vaiala Tonga FC will be attempting to become the first side ever from American Samoa to compete in an OFC Men’s Champions League and the first to take part in an Oceania continental club championship since PanSa East FC qualified for the Oceania Club Championship in 2001.

Whoever finishes top of the group in Nuku’alofa faces a tough task in Group B at the OFC Men’s Champions League in May. They’ll be joining representatives from Tahiti, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, following their respective National Playoffs.

The full match schedule can be seen below, with all matches available to watch LIVE and FREE on FIFA+ (Kick-off times local).