Football throughout the Pacific has been on hold for the past few months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the game is gradually making its return in our region and this graphic below highlights the status of the domestic leagues in our 11 Member Associations.
OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp said it was positive to see football making a return in a safe manner.
“It is very encouraging to see our Member Associations taking stringent steps around their return to play protocols, including social distancing at venues where possible and contact tracing,” Kemp said.
“We encourage them to continue to work with their local health authorities to ensure they’re upholding best practice safety and hygiene standards.”
Some of the men’s domestic leagues in the region were not in season, including American Samoa, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Tonga when the pandemic took hold, while others such as New Zealand and Tahiti were forced to conclude earlier than planned.
Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia’s leagues were all put on hold but remain on track to restart in July or August.
“Football is a huge part of the various communities in the Pacific and we are proud that our game can play a part in helping people move back to normal,” Kemp said.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of people throughout the region remains our top priority but with careful planning, the domestic leagues should be able to make a safe return in the near future.”
Many of OFC’s tournaments have been impacted by coronavirus this year, including the cancellation of the OFC U-17 Women’s Championship.
A decision regarding the status of other tournaments this year, including the OFC Champions League and the men’s OFC U-19 Championship is expected on approximately July 31.
“The coronavirus continues to provide unique logistical challenges and we are speaking regularly with our 11 Member Associations to ensure they’re well informed about what is going on with future events,” OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo said recently.