Draw Confirmed For Women's Olympic Football Tournament - Oceania Qualifier
The draw for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament - Oceania Qualifier, has been confirmed today in Auckland, at the OFC Home of Football - Te Kahu o Kiwa.
To be held in Samoa from February 7-19, 2024, the tournament will see eight teams competing across two groups, with the winning side representing the Oceania region at the Summer Olympic Games 2024 in Paris.
Today's draw was conducted by OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp who was joined by former Football Ferns captain, Maia Jackman.
Group A will see Papua New Guinea compete with the Solomon Islands, Fiji and American Samoa, whilst Group B includes 2020 Summer Olympic Games representative New Zealand, Tonga, hosts Samoa and Vanuatu.
Commenting on the draw Jackman says it's a huge thrill to have the opportunity to qualify your country for the Olympic Games.
"Absolutely, the Olympics is such a dream, a goal that many kids have, a lot don't know how. But here we have a vehicle for some of these players to prepare for and go to an Olympic Games."
Jackman felt it would be a huge opportunity for host nation Samoa to test themselves against Oceania powerhouse New Zealand in Group B.
"It's a big challenge when New Zealand is in your group but there are more resources going into Oceania Football and to be at home, Samoa will have that 12th woman cheering them on. It will be a challenge but one that I am sure they will definitely rise to."
Group A is expected to be closely contested with the likes of Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea chasing two semi-final spots.
"It is a tough group. I remember watching Papua New Guinea in the World Cup qualifiers and they've come a long way and Fiji have really pushed (New Zealand) Under 17's recently."