Here’s when football is back around Oceania

The various leagues in Oceania have all, to varying degrees, felt the impact of the Coronavirus.

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AS Magenta players, here celebrating a goal against Auckland City in the 2019 Champions League Semi-Final, can soon return to active duty (Photo credit: OFC Media/Shane Wenzlick/phototek.nz)

Here you’ll find the status of the leagues around Oceania.

American Samoa

The Football Federation American Samoa (FFAS), who re-elected Iuli Alex Godinet as President for another four years, back in April, has made no comment on when football can return. The newly elected President had this to say on the issue back in April, the last time any news came out of FFAS.

“Soccer is still strong in American Samoa, and despite our regularly scheduled local and international competitions and preparations being put on hold, the executive committee, staff and I are still making plans for our year and adjusting day by day,” Sen. Faiivae told the FFAS website.  “We still have projects being planned and implemented while all competitions are on hold, and we will continue all these to completion.

Cook Islands

The Cooks will get their football back. But they have to wait until August. On the 12th of August the Grassroots Program will kick off on Rarotonga. The senior competitions follows the day after with the 13th and 14th being used for kickoff days.

According to the Cook Islands FA website training sessions have started all across Rarotonga, “so if you were looking for something to dive into during this upcoming spring, now is your chance to visit your local club and get back into the exhilarating game that is football.”

Fiji

The Fijians are just a few days away from getting back underway, if all goes to plan. Ba will take on Navua at 15:00 local time on July 11th, before the Men in Black take on Suva the very next day. The reason is that Ba had games in hand, due to their OCL campaign, when the season was postponed, and they need to catch up.

Ba will also play two other matches later in July , on the 15th and 18th before the full season resumes after that.

Only 300 fans will be allowed into the matches, due to the restrictions put in place by local government.

New Caledonia

The French overseas territory have slowly started back up with the U18 championship getting underway.

The senior teams, will have to wait just a few more weeks until they can play again, with July 11th the new start date. It looked to be early August, but after a meeting it was changed to early July.

This all hinges on the availability of the grounds, especially the Stade Numa Daly in Noumea, according to the New Caledonia Football Federation website.

New Zealand

The winter season for both men and women has started in New Zealand, with the ISPS Handa Premiership, scheduled for later in the fall, so far looking like it will go ahead as planned.

The last Premiership campaign was cut short due to the Coronavirus, and Auckland City were crowned champions. Since then, New Zealand have swiftly dealt with the virus outbreak in their country and football has resumed.

Papua New Guinea

The Papua New Guinea Football Association has spent the last few weeks re-electing John Kapi Natto to the President position. But just before that they announced when the National Soccer League would start.

They aim to start August 1st and run until October 3rd, if no further interruptions occur.

NSL actin manager Dimirit Mileng had this to say: “PNGFA has developed a COVID 19 Protocol document in-line with the Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation “Return to Sport” document, which is being presented to the SOE Controller,” he told the PNGFA website.

“Clubs will be informed in the coming weeks to take into consideration various requirements and preventative measures as outlined within this document. It is in the best interests of our clubs, our players, our stakeholders and importantly our fans that the competition resumes as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Samoa

The senior leagues have not yet begun, but the grassroots is back up and running in Samoa.

The Youth League kicked off on June 20th and a massive one hundred and five teams will be competing in the tournament across the various age categories, ranging from U8 to U19 for both boys and girls.

Solomon Islands

The S-League is set to start in August, according to SIFF President William Lai. “all our competitions will be aligned to the OFC competition calendar changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The TSL is proposed to start in August. Youth leagues are still deferred until all students returned to schools,” Lai told the SIFF website mid-May.

The Solomon Islands will also start up a brand new Premier Women’s League. That one is set to kick off in July.

“We are optimistic to start a top league for women in the country which will consist of 8 to 10 clubs,” Lai said.

“Women game will not be neglected and SIFF is working on a path a direction to ensure more women to participate in the game.”

Tahiti

The beach soccer tournament have started up in Tahiti, while the men’s national football team have started training in preparation for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, set for later this year.

The league was frozen on March 17th and AS Pirae crowned champions, due to the coronavirus. In the women’s league, AS Te Ui Tefana, was awarded the title.

There is no word on when the 2020/2021 season will be kicked off.

Tonga

All football activities in the kingdom was cancelled on March 19th due to the virus, and so far no news has come out as to when the competitions will start again.

Vanuatu

The Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) is hoping for a start to football in July.

A few weeks back they held a Member Association Workshop for clubs to get back up to speed with various computer programmes needed for the upcoming season.

Author: Ola Bjerkevoll

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

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