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Monday, September 01, 2008

2009 O-League draw announced by OFC

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has announced the draw for the 2009 O-League competition set to start in November which includes new teams from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The six team tournament is split into two groups of three with Group A comprised of two time O-League champions Waitakere United (NZL), 2006 Oceania Club champions Auckland City (NZL) and Port Vila Sharks (VAN). Group B holds Fijian champions Ba alongside newcomers Koloale FC (SOL) and Hekari Souths United FC (PNG).

The tournament is set to kick off on 1 November 2008 when Waitakere United meet Auckland City in Auckland and Ba and Koloale FC meet in Fiji.

Hekari Souths United FC earned their place in the new competition after they won the Papua New Guinea National Soccer League and qualified for the three team O-League preliminary tournament. After the withdrawal of the representative clubs from Cook Islands and Tuvalu from the tournament Hekari won their spot in the 2009 O-League, at the expense of the bottom placed finisher from 2008 - AS Manu Ura (TAH).

Koloale replace 2008 O-League finalists Kossa FC as the Solomon Islands representatives after taking out the Solomon Island Football Federation (SIFF) National Club Championship earlier this year.

Port Vila Sharks will replace Tafea FC as the Vanuatu representative after beating them to the title in the Vanuatu Football Federation (VFF) Fed Cup championship.

Waitakere United will enter the competition as favourites after securing back to back titles in 2007 and 2008. They will represent OFC at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December as a result of last year’s OFC Final aggregate win over Kossa FC.

Source: OFC

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