October 2, 2023

Beach Soccer Nations Cup cancelled

The OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup has been cancelled. Tahiti will represent OFC at the World Cup.

Tahiti is the reigning Beach Soccer champion in Oceania. (Photo credit: La Dépêche de Tahiti/http://www.ladepeche.pf)

The reason for the cancellation is the Coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions it has put on OFC nations.

“OFC’s Executive Committee made the decision this week to cancel the tournament and nominate Tahiti to attend the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2021 in Russia in August as Oceania’s representative,” OFC wrote in a statement.

“OFC’s Executive Committee nominated Tahiti as Oceania’s representative based on two key principles: current world ranking and sporting merit. Tahiti is ranked 13th in the world, the highest among OFC nations with the Solomon Islands next in 32nd; Tahiti also won the most recent edition of the OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup in 2019.”

LISTEN: Football in Oceania Podcast: Episode 5 – Tahiti and beach soccer with Mark Pendergast

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo says they have “a number of hurdles” to overcome.

“We thank the Executive Committee for making this decision swiftly to give Tahiti adequate time to prepare for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2021 in Russia in August,” Castillo said.

“The sad reality of the coronavirus pandemic is that we have a number of hurdles to overcome to operate our tournaments and we are still unable to do so given the border closures throughout the Pacific.”

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