The official draw for the new, expanded OFC Champions League for 2017 has revealed the make-up of the four groups for next year’s edition of Oceania’s premier international club competition.
Taking top position in Group A is New Caledonia champions AS Magenta who were semi-finalists in the 2016 OFC Champions League held at QBE Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.
Joining them in the group are Hekari United of Papua New Guinea, who still hold the title of the only club outside of New Zealand or Australia to win the regional title and appear at the FIFA Club World Cup, AS Central Sport of Tahiti and the runner-up from the Qualifying Stage of the OFC Champions League which will be held in early 2017.
The make-up of Group B includes two-time OFC Champions League runner-up Team Wellington, the current New Zealand league champions, the winner of the Fiji league, Hienghene Sport, runner-up in the New Caledonia Super Ligue and the winner from the Qualifying Stage of the OFC Champions League.
In Group C the defending and seven-time champions Auckland City FC have drawn the winners of the Vanuatu club competition, Papua New Guinea club Lae City Dwellers and the Solomon Islands runner-up.
Only one team in Group D has already been identified and that is 2011/12 OFC Champions League finalists and 2016 semi-finalists AS Tefana of Tahiti. They will be joined by the Solomon Islands winning club and the runners-up from Fiji and Vanuatu.
The draw for the Qualifying Stage of the OFC Champions League 2017 also took place at the OFC Headquarters.
AS Magenta (NCL)
Hekari United (PNG)
AS Central Sport (TAH)
Qualifying Stage Runner-Up
Team Wellington (NZL)
Fiji Winner (FIJ)
Hienghene Sport (NCL)
Qualifying Stage Winner
Auckland City FC (NZL)
Vanuatu Winner (VAN)
Lae City Dwellers (PNG)
Solomon Islands Runner-Up (SOL)
AS Tefana (TAH)
Solomon Islands Winner (SOL)
Fiji Runner-Up (FIJ)
Vanuatu Runner-Up (VAN)
Qualifying Stage for the OFC Champions League 2017
1. Cook Islands Winner (COK)
2. Utulei Youth FC (ASA)
3. Lupe Ole Soaga (SAM)
4. Veitongo FC (TGA)
The OFC Champions League is the Confederation’s premier international club competition and brings together the top teams from around the Pacific to compete for the crown of regional club champion.
The 2017 tournament will be the 15th edition of this prestigious event which offers a much coveted prize – qualification to the FIFA Club World Cup.
Defending champions Auckland City FC will be chasing their ninth regional title, in a competition that has largely been dominated by themselves and Waitakere United.
Papua New Guinea club Hekari United became the first club outside of New Zealand or Australia to claim the prize with their 2010 victory, while Sydney FC, Wollongong Wolves and South Melbourne also have their place in the history books.