Auckland’s OFC Academy provided the stage for the Official Draw for the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier 2019 tournament which will take place between 21 September and 5 October.
During the Draw, OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp was assisted by Rajesh Patel, the President of the Fiji Football Association, who are the hosts of this year’s tournament.
Fiji will be joined by seven other Member Associations with the winner securing the rights to represent OFC at the Men’s Olympic Tournament at the Tokyo Games in 2020.
In Group A, top seeded New Zealand will face fourth ranked Solomon Islands as well as Pacific cousins American Samoa and Samoa, while second seeded Fiji will need to overcome third ranked Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Tonga in Group B.
Chris Kemp is confident the tournament will be a success both on and off the field.
“We have no doubt Fiji will be a fantastic host and the participating teams as well as the fans will all contribute to delivering a competitive and exciting tournament,” said the OFC Competitions Director.
“The stakes are very high as qualification for a global sporting event such as the Olympics is a major prize.
“We expect all the participating teams to prepare and perform to their best ability and we also anticipate plenty of interest both in Fiji as well as across the entire region,” he added.
Rajesh Patel shares these sentiments and can’t wait to welcome the competing teams in Fiji.
“We are very excited and looking forward to putting on a great tournament, said the President of the Fiji FA.
“Following our national team’s fantastic experience representing Oceania at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil it was important for us to bid for the hosting rights of this qualifying tournament.
“Fiji are in a very tough group and it won’t be easy but we are confident our team will do well, the fans are excited and we hope for a closely qualifying event,” Patel insisted.
OFC Men’s Olympic Tournament 2019
21 September – 5 October – Fiji
Papua New Guinea