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OFC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE APPROVE O-LEAGUE EXPANSION

Thursday, 04 June 09, 11:43 AM

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Executive Committee has met in the Bahamas during the 59th FIFA Congress this week to discuss a number of important matters such as the future of Oceania’s topflight club competition – the O-League.

Convening at Paradise Island’s Atlantis Hotel on Monday, the executive committee approved the expansion of the O-League from six to eight teams for the 2010 season, with two groups of four playing in a home and away format.  

Tai Nicholas, OFC General Secretary, says the decision is an exciting step forward.

“This expansion reflects the growing popularity of the O-League and will enable more Member Associations to participate in our flagship competition,” said Nicholas.

The 2010 O-League, which kicks off in October 2009, will consist of a Group A including two New Zealand clubs and representatives from New Caledonia and Tahiti plus a Group B made up of teams from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. A decision on the O-League structure beyond the 2010 season will be made in November at the next OFC Executive Committee meeting.

In other matters, the executive committee showed a strong desire to stage future FIFA events with the endorsement of Tahiti’s bid to host the Reynald TemariiFIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2011.

The committee then expressed support for OFC hosting a FIFA Congress in 2013 and the possibility of hosting a FIFA U-17 World Cup across 4 or 5 Oceania nations in the future.

New regulations were also introduced for the OFC Financial Assistance Program (FAP) giving provisions for Member Associations to comply with the strict audit requirements or lose their funding.

After the executive committee meeting, OFC held its 20th Ordinary Congress which was attended by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and other FIFA senior management.

In what was a fitting opening, a presentation was given to acknowledge the ‘Father of OFC’ Charles J. Dempsey, CBE, who passed away on 25 June, 2008.

OFC President Reynald Temarii praised Dempsey for his tireless work throughout Oceania and his commitment to his vision.

“OFC and FIFA owe Charles a debt of gratitude for his complete devotion, extraordinary loyalty and unwavering service to the sport of football.”

President Temarii made a special tribute to the FIFA President who, under his leadership since 1998, has ensured member associations are given the resources through the various FIFA initiatives to enable them to develop the game, touch the world and build a better future. 

He also  outlined the evolution of the financial management of OFC where before 2004, 70% of OFC funds were spent on administration and 30% were made available for the Member Associations while in 2008 this had reversed to 73% for Member Associations and in 2009 this figure is now at 78%.

Joseph S. BlatterThe FIFA President then addressed the congress acknowledging Dempsey and going on to congratulate OFC for continuing his legacy and progressing even further under the tutelage of President Temarii.

In another presentation, Tahiti’s Tourism Minister Jacques Drollet handed President Blatter an official letter from the Tahitian government giving full support for the bid to host the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2011 and the possibility of hosting a FIFA Congress.

Drollet addressed the delegates saying that Tahiti would be a picturesque setting for the tournament.

“We may be on Paradise Island now, but the real paradise is Tahiti,” said Drollet.

Finally in financial matters, the audited accounts were passed at the congress and a profit of NZ$1 million was confirmed.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Priscilla Duncan
Oceania Football Confederation
Media & Communications
T: +649 526 5651 
F: +649 525 8164
M:+64 (0)21 884 018 
E: priscilla@oceaniafootball.com

Joel Tiller
Oceania Football Confederation
Media & Communications

T: +649 526 5654
F: +649 525 8164
M:+64 (0)21 994 520
E: joel@oceaniafootball.com


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