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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Draw released for OFC mens olympic qualifying tournament

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has released the draw for the OFC Men’s Olympic Football Tournament 2008 and it pits OFC heavyweights New Zealand against hosts Fiji in the opening round.

The tournament will run from March 1- 9 and the winner of the six team competition will earn a spot at the Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing in August. The OFC Men’s Olympic Football tournament will follow a round robin format with each team playing five games and the winner decided on points.

Tahiti and New Caledonia were eligible to play in the tournament but did not enter as they are not members of the International Olympic Committee and would not be able to compete at the Olympics.

New Zealand will face Fiji in the opening round on March 1st in a match which is likely to draw a large crowd from the local supporters.

Australia has won four out of the last five OFC Olympic qualifying tournaments. New Zealand won the tournament in 2000 (Australia hosted the Olympics and attained automatic entry) beating the Solomon Islands in the final. Australia defeated New Zealand in the 2004 final which was played over two legs after a 2-0 win in Australia and a 1-1draw in New Zealand.

This is the first year Australia will not be competing as an Oceania representative since switching to the Asian Football Confederation on Jan 1, 2006.

OFC Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Draw
Match Day 1 – 1 March 2008*
New Zealand vs Fiji
Cook Islands vs Vanuatu
Papua New Guinea vs Solomon Islands

Match Day 2 – 3 March 2008*
Vanuatu vs New Zealand
Fiji vs Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands vs Cook Islands

Match Day 3 – 5 March 2008*
Fiji vs Cook Islands
Papua New Guinea vs New Zealand
Solomon Islands vs Vanuatu

Match Day 4 – 7 March 2008*
New Zealand vs Solomon Islands
Cook Islands vs Papua New Guinea
Vanuatu vs Fiji

Match Day 5 – 9 March 2008*
Cook Islands vs New Zealand
Vanuatu vs Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands vs Fiji
*Kick-off times and venues to be confirmed.

Source: OFC

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