World Cup qualifying group drawn
The groups for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers were drawn in Zurich on Monday.
The first team drawn out of the bowl was the winner of the Tonga v Cook Islands preliminary match. They were put into Group A, alongside Vanuatu, Tahiti and the Solomon Islands.
But it is Group B which is the “group of death” of this World Cup qualifiers, with Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Caledonia and New Zealand in it.
The qualifiers will be played as a mini-tournament and held in Qatar between March 14-30 next year. The Cook Islands and Tonga will play a one-off first round match to decide who goes through to the group stages.
Each team will be playing each of their group opponents once in the group stages before semi-finals and a final. The winner of the qualifiers will face the fourth-placed CONCACAF team in the inter-confederation playoffs.