All around the world, the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers are taking place. Europe and Africa are seeing the hottest competitions as there are countries really making sure that the group rounds are within reach. Meanwhile, Oceania is gearing up for their own qualifiers, which will happen early in 2022.
The Oceania Football Confederation, the governing body for the region’s football competitions, said that matches are set to take place in Qatar from March 14 to March 30. It will also be played like a mini-tournament consisting of eight teams which will figure in a round-robin group stage, before the semis and the Finals.
Tonga and Cook Islands to Play
The venue is a great fit since the FIFA World Cup 2022 will be held in Qatar. That being said, the two lowest OFC teams in the FIFA World Ranking—Tonga and the Cook Islands—will still try to catch the last bus to the Qatar qualifiers for the OFC group.
The mini tournament already contains some of the region’s best in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Tahiti. That’s for Group A, while Group B has 2016 OFC Nations Cup finalists Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Fiji, and New Zealand.
Qatar as a Neutral Ground of Sorts
It looks on paper that Qatar will be serving as a ‘neutral ground’ for the OFC qualifiers. In truth, for health reasons, the country was chosen by the government. No OFC Member Association was permitted to hold the qualifiers in their region due to safety reasons posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
12BET online sports betting fans will have to settle for watching the action in Qatar, which has OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo buzzing. It was a return of international football to the region, who will be facing international opposition for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdowns happened.
The Importance of Returning to International Play
While the football live score for the OFC shall be seen on foreign soil, Castillo said that it was important for the region to stage the tournament despite lingering concerns about the pandemic situation. It was important for the Member Associations to return to international matches, he said, and that the region can instead start focusing on what is shaping up to be a ‘wonderful tournament.’
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