New Caledonia to host 2018 OFC Women’s Nations Cup

The 11th edition of the tournament is set to be hosted in New Caledonia from 18th November to 1st December.

Football Ferns OFC 2014
New Zealand’s Amber Hearn in action against Papua New Guinea at the last OFC Women’s Nations Cup (Photo credit: OFC)

The OFC announced the news Monday morning.

The draw for the Group Stage will take place on Thursday 22nd March and will include the Cook Islands, hosts New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga who will all have automatic entry to the competition, as well as a Qualifying Stage winner.

The Qualifiers are set to be held from 25-31 August in Lautoka, Fiji and will, in addition to the hosts Fiji, include American Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

After winning the gold medal at the Pacific Mini Games in December last year Vanuatu would perhaps be considered favourites to advance to the competition proper.

The last edition in Papua New Guinea in 2014 only contained four teams so it is good to see that all the nations in the OFC look to be participating in some capacity in this year’s edition.

New Zealand are the reigning champions after topping the table at the last tournament which, due to the lack of teams, were held as a round robin, in other words using a league format. New Zealand have won the last three editions of the tournament and will be looking to set a new record by taking four straight gold medals.

Not only does the winner get to represent Oceania at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France but they also get a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, should they be eligible as a member of the IOC, which excludes Tahiti and New Caledonia.

Bring on December!

Author: Ola Bjerkevoll

A passion for everything football and especially in Oceania. Owner of Football in Oceania.

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