OFC Champions League 2020 cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Auckland, September 4: Oceania Football Confederation’s Executive Committee on Friday agreed to cancel the remaining matches in the OFC Champions League 2020 due to the travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Clubs from New Zealand, Vanuatu, Tahiti, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia had advanced to the knockout stages.

Auckland [New Zealand], September 4 (ANI): Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) Executive Committee on Friday agreed to cancel the remaining matches in the OFC Champions League 2020 due to the travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The competition had reached the quarter-final stage after pool play in February and March before the pandemic put everything on hold. The OFC Champions League play-off matches were due to be played in April and May but were delayed multiple times due to the pandemic.

Clubs from New Zealand, Vanuatu, Tahiti, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia had advanced to the knockout stages.

The winner of this year’s OFC Champions League was set to attend the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar in December.

A further decision on any potential representative for Oceania at that event will be made once FIFA release their decision regarding whether this year’s FIFA Club World Cup will proceed or not.

The Executive Committee has also agreed to provide a financial provision of New Zealand dollars 25,000 to each of the eight clubs who were in the play-offs but did not have the opportunity to advance in the competition due to the cancellation.

OFC placed all of their tournaments on hold on March 9 due to coronavirus, and the health and safety of the football community in the Pacific remain a top priority for the organisation.

As a result of the cancellation, no winner will be crowned for the OFC Champions League 2020.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo acknowledged it was a disappointing situation.

“While we would all love to see our tournaments being played in the Pacific, we need to look after the long-term health of our community,” Castillo said in a release.

“COVID-19 has presented many challenges to our organisation and I am really proud of how we have responded this year. We are continually doing our best to work with our Member Associations about how we can make a safe return to playing football in the future,” he added.

The Executive Committee also agreed to cancel the inaugural OFC Youth Champions League that was scheduled to take place in January 2021. (ANI)

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