OFC Champions League
The OFC Champions League, also known as the O-League, is the premier men's club soccer competition in Oceania. It is organised by the OFC, Oceania's football governing body. It has been organised since 2007 under the current format, following its predecessor, the Oceania Club Championship. Twelve OFC Champions League titles have been won by teams from New Zealand, with Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia being the only Pacific nations to have won the competition.
|Number of teams||16 (group stage)|
(from 11 associations)
|Qualifier for||FIFA Club World Cup|
|Current champions||No Current Champion Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic|
|Most successful team(s)||Auckland City (9 titles)|
|2021 OFC Champions League|
During the 2014–15 season, the tournament became sponsored by Fiji Airways, therefore renaming the competition as the Fiji Airways OFC Champions League. Trophies for OFC tournaments, made by London-based silversmiths Thomas Lyte, are awarded to winners.
At first, this competition was played as a single playoff match between champions of New Zealand and Australia. That competition was held in 1987 and Adelaide City won the inaugural season. Then 12 years pause came, until OFC organised next, all Oceania Cup. In January 1999, the Oceania Club Championship was held in the Fijian cities of Nadi and Lautoka. Nine teams took part, with Australian side South Melbourne winning the trophy. They also qualified for the following year's FIFA Club World Cup. The next competition was held two years later, with an Australian team again winning the title. Wollongong Wolves won it, beating Vanuatu representative Tafea in the final. Two more editions were held under this name and format, with Sydney and Auckland City winning titles. OFC decided to change the competition format and name, so that since 2007 the competition is known as the OFC Champions League. The 2019 final marked the first time in the history of the competition that there was no side from New Zealand present.
Oceania Club ChampionshipEdit
The Oceania Club Championship was played in one or two venues, in one host country. There were two or three groups with single round-robin format, semifinals and final. The tournament usually lasted about 10 days, with matches being played every 2 days.
OFC Champions LeagueEdit
OFC decided to change competition format, to make its main competition more interesting and more important to competing clubs.
The first two seasons saw competition with two groups of three teams each, and from the third edition onwards it consists of two groups of four teams each. Group winners progress to the final, played in double playoff format, with the winner taking the title. Unlike its previous format, O-League lasts more than a half year, starting in October and ending the following April. The O-League winner qualifies to FIFA Club World Cup, entering the competition in playoff round.
For the 2012–13 season O-League changed its format with the introduction of qualifying stage, with the champions of the four weakest leagues competing for a play-off spot with the representative of country with the worst record from the previous tournament. Later rather were also scheduling and format changes for the main tournament. That competition was played between March and May 2013 with introduction of semifinal stage and final played on neutral venue. First O-League one-legged final was played in Auckland, and was the first O-League final between two teams from the same country, with Auckland City defeating Waitakere United to win its 5th title.
OFC Champions League saw another change for 2013–14 season with group stage played in a pre-determined location with semifinal and final played on home and away basis. Fiji was selected as host. Preliminary stage was played six months before group stage, and the winner entered the group stage.
Another change came in 2017 when group stage was expanded to 16 teams with whole competition being played in the one year (preliminary stage followed by group stage and later knock-out stage). Each of four groups was hosted by one of teams from the group meaning more countries and teams included. Group winners qualified for the semifinal stage. The semifinals and final were both played on home-away basis. Following success of 2017 season, OFC added quarterfinal round for 2018 edition, meaning the top two teams from each group qualified for the knock-out stage.
In 2014, both finalists of the OFC Champions League participated in the OFC President's Cup, an invitational tournament organised by the OFC. However, President's Cup was held only once.
Records and statisticsEdit
OFC Club Championship eraEdit
|Season||Winners||Score||Runners-up||Venue||Attendance||No. of Teams||No. of Associations|
||Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide||3,500||9||9|
||Prince Charles Park, Nadi||10,000||9||9|
||Lloyd Robson Stadium, Port Moresby||3,000||11||11|
||Stade Pater, Papeete||4,000||13||12|
||North Harbour Stadium, Auckland||2,000||11||10|
OFC Champions League eraEdit
Performances by clubEdit
|Club||Titles||Runners-up||Winning Seasons||Runner-up Seasons|
|Auckland City||9||—||2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017||—|
|Waitakere United||2||2||2007, 2008||2010, 2013|
|Team Wellington||1||3||2018||2015, 2016, 2017|
Performances by countryEdit
|Papua New Guinea||1||—|
All-time table (Top 10 Clubs)Edit
|1||Auckland City (13)||75||53||14||8||211||65||+146||173|
|2||Waitakere United (8)||48||25||12||11||99||57||+42||87|
|5||Hekari United (8)||39||16||9||14||67||58||+9||57|
|9||Wollongong Wolves (1)||7||7||0||0||43||2||+41||21|
|10||Team Wellington (3)||8||7||0||1||34||14||+20||21|
* Number in parentheses show number of participations.
All-time table (Countries)Edit
|6||Papua New Guinea||64||24||10||30||109||145||−36||82|
- "OFC teams up with Fiji Airways". OFC. 2 April 2015. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- New silverware awarded for victors Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
- "OFC Champions League 2020 cancelled". Oceania Football Confederation. 4 September 2020.
- "OFC competitions calendar rescheduled". Oceania Football Confederation. 4 June 2021.
- "Past tournaments". oceaniafootball.com. Archived from the original on 28 April 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- "Oceania Club Cups - Overview File". RSSSF. Retrieved 17 April 2012.