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Nikao Sokattak FC nominated for finals in New Zealand

Wednesday 8 June 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Football, Sports

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Nikao Sokattak FC nominated for finals in New Zealand
(File photo) Nikao Sokattak’s James Osiramo looks for support against Titikaveka. Photo: CIFA MEDIA/21111404

Ongoing travel restrictions and logistical challenges have forced the cancellation of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Champions League 2022 qualifying stage.

The qualifying stage had been set to see the club champions of Cook Islands, American Samoa and Tonga play each other for a single place in the competition’s finals stage.

Following cancellation of the qualifying tournament, the OFC Executive committee confirmed that Nikao Sokattak FC from the Cook Islands has been nominated to attend the finals tournament based on sporting merit.

The committee took into consideration the final placing of the member association champion in each OFC Champions League Qualifying Stage played between 2016 and 2020, and combined the results to determine an overall ranking.

The overall ranking was then applied to the clubs nominated by their member associations as the champion from their respective national leagues to qualify for the OFC Champions League 2022.

The national playoffs, which are being contested by the top two sides from six different member associations, are not impacted given they don’t require any inter-regional travel and will take place as planned through June.

The six winners from the playoffs will join Nikao Sokattak FC and Auckland City FC (the latter were nominated to attend by New Zealand Football) at the finals tournament.

The finals tournament for Oceania’s Champions League will be hosted by New Zealand in August, with all eight competing teams to be confirmed at the end of June, the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) announced.

The global health crisis has left the OFC often scrambling to get its competitions up and running.

The six winners from the playoffs will join Nikao Sokattak FC and Auckland City FC at the finals tournament, which will be hosted in New Zealand between August 6-19.

The OFC also confirmed that the region’s U-19 competition will be held in Tahiti and Fiji will host the OFC U-16 Men’s Cup in January 2023.

The OFC Futsal Champions League however has been cancelled because of travel restrictions.