The participating eight Member Associations have been drawn into two groups of four at the Official Draw for the OFC Futsal Nations Cup 2019 tournament which will be hosted by New Caledonia between 27 October and 2 November.
Steeve Laigle, President of Fédération Calédonienne de Football was at hand to assist OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp at the OFC Academy in Auckland during the Draw which was witnessed by a number of Executive Committee Members as well as OFC President Lambert Maltock.
Defending champions and top seeded Solomon Islands and second ranked New Zealand were placed into different pots to ensure they don’t face each other during the group stages with the two bottom ranked sides American Samoa and Tonga also separated for the same reason.
The winner of the tournament will earn the rights to represent OFC at the 2022 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania and Chris Kemp believes the level of competition will reflect the prize on offer.
“The desire to make the World Cup is very high, it’s the pinnacle of Futsal so the players and teams will have all the motivation in their quest to book their tickets to Lithuania,” he said.
“We are also very pleased to stage the tournament in New Caledonia which is a country full a Futsal pride and passion,” he added.
Steeve Laigle couldn’t agree more.
“It’s very exciting for our Federation to host the OFC Futsal Nations Cup, it’s a big sport in our country and we have a lot of people who love the game,” said the President of Fédération Calédonienne de Football.
“We will prepare very well because it’s very important for our team our fans and our Federation to perform well and qualify for the World Cup.” he added.
OFC Futsal Development Officer Paul Toohey also believes that New Caledonia will provide a perfect fit for the tournament which will likely to be the most competitive OFC Futsal competition to date.
“I think it will be the toughest competition we have had, some teams are already working very well, training and organising friendly matches in the next few months,” he said.
“It’s also great to have two new teams, American Samoa and Tonga, it demonstrates our sport is growing.
“Futsal is very well established in New Caledonia with the national futsal league – Super Ligue – is the longest running futsal league in our region.
“The stadium in Paita is fantastic and perfect for our tournament and the local organising committee is already very well advanced in promoting the Nations Cup,” explained Toohey.
OFC Futsal Nations Cup 2019
27 October and 2 November – Noumea, New Caledonia