The inaugural Vanuatu Football Federation Women’s Champions League kicked off last weekend with the first of three group stage rounds being played at Luganville Stadium in Luganville.

The eight competing teams – LL Echo (Tafea), Galaxy FC (Port Vila), Huka 21 (Shefa), Uripiv FC (Malampa), Tokotara (Penama), Northern Region Technical Centre (Luganville), Banban United (Sanma) and Young Star Women (Torba) – all represent different areas of Vanuatu.  

The format sees teams split into two seperate groups in which they play three matches – taking on each of their group opponents once – before the top two from each advance to the semi-finals. 

The competition will be played over an intensive 10-day period, with group games and playoffs spaced out with a couple of rest days in between and the final scheduled for October 25.  

At the time of writing Young Star Women FC sat atop Group B after a 4-1 win over Banban United, while Galaxy led Group A on goal differential after a huge 24-0 win in the opener, with Huka 21 also winning on Match Day 1.  

VFF Women’s Development Officer Margreatte Iati said the formation of the competition was an important part of the country’s efforts to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027™.

“The main purpose is to get the best out of players who will be in the frame for selection in 2027, but also in the shorter term any games the national team has in 2022 and 2023,” Iati said.

“It has been a long road to where we are now and I am very happy with the number of teams we have taking part.

“It is a big moment for women’s football in Vanuatu and we couldn’t have done it without the support of FIFA and OFC.”