OFC’s premier beach soccer event, the rebranded OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup made a welcome return to the events calendar in 2019 with a successful five team tournament played at Parc Aorai Tini Hau in Papeete.
Beach Soccer has thrilled the region’s football loving public since the first tournament in 2006. In these early years, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu were the dominant forces on Oceania sands, but as every beach soccer fan knows, Tahiti’s emergence as regional powerhouse in 2011 changed the landscape for the next decade.
The 2019 tournament saw all three teams return along with relative newcomers New Caledonia and debutants Tonga.
After an intriguing match between the pair in the group phase it was no surprise that heavyweights Solomon Islands and hosts Tahiti would play a magnificent final.
As in 2011, the Tiki Toa prevailed again but Gideon Omokirio’s Bilikiki have well and truly signalled their return as a force in the sand-based game. We can look forward to another fantastic tournament in 2021, as OFC looks towards FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021.