Oceania Football remains optimistic a return to international competition is not far away.

The OFC Executive Committee approved a number of changes last week in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the OFC Champions League and a handful of youth tournaments all pushed back to a later date.

Competitions Director Chris Kemp hoped the new schedule would stick but admitted it was something out of their control.

“We’re constantly monitoring the international situation about borders and quarantine and airlines flying but the really encouraging thing is that most of our member associations are able to play their [domestic] football without too many restrictions,” he said.

This year’s OFC Futsal Champions League and the Women’s Youth Development Tournament will no longer go ahead as a result of the global pandemic.

Cancelling an event was the absolute last resort for the regional body, but Kemp stressed a lot of their decisions were also reliant on FIFA.

“If we have no other alternatives then we will have to look whether we postpone the competition, or whether we unfortunately have to make the tough decision and say that’s just not possible for that one to take place,” he said.

Kemp said OFC needed to have back up options and was in constant communication with FIFA about the status of the World Cup because the majority of competitions had qualification ramifications.

“So if they decide to postpone one of their competitions, for whatever reason, it then gives us more time to able to play our one.”

FIFA World Cup qualifying is set to begin in March – pending approval by FIFA, as part of Oceania Football’s latest calendar revamp.

RNZ

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