In a video on their Youtube channel, the Oceania Football Confederation laid out its development strategy for the period of 2019-2026 and with it confirmed the proposal of an OFC Nations League.
Watch the full video at the bottom of the article.
With the 1.5 World Cup spots up for grabs for Oceania nations for the 2026 World Cup the OFC have launched a new development strategy to have it’s nations in best possible shape to fight for the spots available.
The strategic plan said the OFC wishes to have all 11 of its Member Associations (MA) present at every OFC tournament and listed among said tournaments the “OFC Nations League (new proposal)”.
This is the first time the OFC have officially confirmed any plans surrounding the Nations League concept adopted by Europe and North/Central America and the Caribbean.
There was no more mention of exactly how or when this tournament would take place, or if there would be a place in it for associate members like Kiribati or Tuvalu, similar to that of the CONCACAF Nations League.
Hopefully, more will be revealed in due course.
Better competitions for clubs
The strategy sees the OFC take firm steps towards organizing the MA’s and the voice in the video says they aim to have “every MA host a minimum of six months of local club competitions at youth and senior level,” by 2020.
By 2022 the OFC wants every MA to have club licencing in place for their clubs and that all national leagues have youth/grassroots teams.
The strategy puts focus on coaching and grassroots, but also goalkeeping, a position that has been seen as one of the weaker links in Oceania football.
By 2022 the OFC wants to put in place 11 goalkeeper development officers (one for each MA), 25 goalkeeping schools and to have 300 goalkeepers developed, 200 MA-certified goalkeeping coaches, 105 OFC-accredited goalkeeping coaches and 22 goalkeeping educators.
Elite men and continuous development of women
Perhaps most exciting for an outsider is the elite football strategy for 2019-2022.
They want to see 56 centres of excellence, eight national academies, and OFC regional academy and cross-confederation competitions.
For the women’s football which has grown rapidly both in popularity and in quality of play on the pitch the OFC wants to have 4830 grassroots participants by 2022.
They also want: 837 girls in development, 33 centres of excellence, 660 talented youth players, 4 national academies, 313 active coaches and get to the knockout phase at all FIFA Women’s World Cups.
For Futsal and Beach Soccer the overarching goal are to reach the knockout stages of the Futsal World Cup by 2028 and win the Beach Soccer World Cup by 2027, a feat that Tahiti have been close to in the last few editions.
Much like they have done for futsal, they also want an OFC Champions League for Beach Soccer.