New Zealand domestic football champions Auckland City have been nominated to represent Oceania at next year's FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.
The winner of the OFC Champions League normally attends the lucrative event but this year's regional championship was cancelled following the group stage due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Auckland City were among eight teams to advance to the quarterfinal stage before the tournament was scrapped, including fellow group winners Eastern Suburbs (New Zealand), Malampa Revivors (Vanuatu) and AS Magenta (New Caledonia).
OFC's Executive Committee has nominated Auckland City FC as the Confederation's representative to participate in next year's FIFA Club World Cup— OFC Oceania Football (@OFCfootball) November 19, 2020
The tournament regulations rank each team after the group stage in order of points won, goal difference, and then total goals scored, with the Navy Blues leading the way after topping Group D with three straight wins and nine unanswered goals.
OFC General Secretary, Franck Castillo, was grateful for the support of the Executive Committee who made a swift decision.
"While we would have loved to have completed this year's instalment of the OFC Champions League, Covid-19 made it impossible," he said.
"We want to provide OFC's representative the best possible opportunity to prepare for the FIFA Club World Cup, despite the challenging circumstances posed by the coronavirus pandemic."
FIFA announced this week the Club World Cup had been rescheduled from December to February next year.
Auckland City are the most successful club in Oceania, having won the OFC Champions League on nine occasions, and recorded a best ever finish of third at the Club World Cup in 2014.
Hienghène Sport from New Caledonia are the most recent Champions League winners after defeating local rivals AS Magenta in an all-Francophone final 18 months ago.