10 Mar 2020

Sport: OFC postpones all football tournaments due to COVID-19

5:40 am on 10 March 2020

The Oceania Football Confederation has postponed all OFC tournaments, workshops, trainings and courses until 6 May to protect and safeguard teams and officials from risks associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The Executive Committee approved the decision following recommendations made by the General Secretariat and updates received from the New Zealand Ministry of Health, World Health Organization and countries and territories across member associations.

PNG finished runners up in the 2016 OFC Nations Cup.

PNG and NZ competing on the football field Photo: OFC via Phototek

Among the effected events are the OFC Under 16 Women's Championship, due to take place next month in Tahiti, which had already been postponed from December following the measles epidemic in the Pacific.

The knockout rounds of the OFC Champions League will also be deferred, while the decision also extends to the postponement of all meetings.

OFC said it would closely monitor advice from relevant authorities before making a decision on rescheduling events.

OFC General Secretary, Franck Castillo, said the decision was made to ensure the safety and wellbeing for everyone involved.

"Although it's disappointing to postpone our scheduled events and competitions, the Executive Committee's decision was taken following careful consideration of the best and most recent available advice to us," he said.

"The health and safety of our staff, our players and officials in our member associations as well as the wellbeing of the people across our Pacific region will always take priority for our organisation," Castillo said.