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How to Watch the OFC Champions League Everywhere in the World

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Each of the continents has its own Champions League. Of course, the UEFA version is the one that is most known and followed. It features Europe’s best sides. However, fans not located in Europe do get to cheer on local teams in their own version of this competition.

Those in Oceania, which in soccer terms includes New Zealand but not Australia, often turn their focus towards the OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Champions League.

Eleven Sports will stream this competition in 2022.

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OFC Champions League

The OFC Champions League has had a spotty history.

It got its start in 1987 as the Oceania Club Championship. In that year’s final, Australia’s Adelaide City and New Zealand’s University-Mount Wellington played to a 1-1 draw before the former side prevailed in the penalty shootout that followed, 4-1. The historic match was played in front of 3,500 in Adelaide.

However, it was 12 years until a second edition took place. In 1999, a Fijian club, Nadi, surprised the world in defeating New Zealand’s representative, Central United, 1-0, in the semifinals to face Australia’s South Melbourne in the final. However, despite the Fijians playing in their home stadium, South Melbourne was too strong in that match, winning 5-1.

After a short break before a third edition in 2001 and then a longer break before another tournament in 2005, it has been held on a mostly annual basis since then.

The biggest change that the OFC Champions League has experienced occurred in 2006. Australia had recently left OFC for AFC, meaning that its club teams were no longer eligible to take part in this competition. That also meant that an Aussie side would, for the first time, not be lifting the trophy at the end of it. Instead, New Zealand’s Auckland City defeated Tahiti’s AS Pirae, 3-1, in the 2006 final.

As expected with New Zealand dominating the rest of the OFC members in all forms of this sport, a club from that country has won the vast majority of OFC Champions Leagues to be played since. Exceptions include titles claimed by Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United (2009-10) and New Caledonia’s Hienghene Sport (2019).

However, the competition has recently taken an extended break. The 2020 edition was abruptly stopped in March of that year, and no matches were played in 2021. However, a return in 2022 is planned.

Throughout its history, clubs from New Zealand have won this competition 12 times, and sides from Australia have done so on four occasions.

The most dominant side has unquestionably been Auckland City, which has nine championships, won between 2006 and 2017. Only one other club has more than a lone title. New Zealand’s Waitakere United claimed this competition in 2007 and 2008.

Structure

In 2022, the national champions from the OFC’s “developing associations,” which are American Samoa (Vaiala Tongan), Cook Islands (Nikao Sokattak FC), Samoa (Lupe o le Soaga), and Tonga (Veitongo FC), are participating in a qualifying tournament with one side moving on.

The “developed associations,” are from Fiji (Lautoka FC, Rewa FC), New Caledonia (Hienghène Sport, SC Ne Drehu), New Zealand (Auckland City FC), Papua New Guinea (Lae City FC, Hekari United), Solomon Islands (Central Coast FC, Solomon Warriors FC), Tahiti (AS Pirae, AS Vénus), and Vanuatu (ABM Galaxy FC, RueRue FC).

The top two teams in the country’s top league play each other, either in a single match or over two legs, with one exception. New Zealand is simply sending its champion to the finals.

Following the conclusion of those two separate series of matches, the remaining eight sides will advance to the finals.

In 2020, there was a qualifying stage and a 16-team group stage — four teams apiece in four groups. And they were to be followed by single-match quarterfinals, semifinals, and a final — but only up to the group stage was played. The same format was in place and completed in 2019.

Related Events

The winner of the OFC Champions League has been annually invited to the FIFA Club World Cup, entering that event in the first round, where it has taken on the league champion from the host country.

Although the Oceania club is usually outmatched in that contest, surprises have occurred. A perfect example of this took place in 2014 as the OFC representative that year stunned the world not only in that match but numerous times later as well.

First, Auckland City knocked off Morocco’s Moghreb Tetouan, 4-3 in a penalty shootout, following their 0-0 draw. That was followed by a 1-0 win over Algeria’s ES Setif, pushing the New Zealand side into the semifinals, where it took Argentina’s San Lorenzo to extra time before falling, 2-1. However, a 4-2 shootout win over Mexico’s Cruz Azul after a 1-1 draw followed in the third-place match.

However, the future of the Club World Cup is in flux. At some point, it is expected to change from being played once a year to taking place every four years and involving 24 teams. And it is believed that an Oceania representative will not be guaranteed to take part. Instead, it will have to take part in a playoff.

Unlike is the case in most other continents, there is no secondary confederation-wide competition. In other words, there is nothing similar to the UEFA Europa League in Oceania.

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Watching the OFC Champions League

OFC Champions League matches are streamed by Eleven Sports. In fact, you should be able to head to that website today and watch matches that had been played in 2019 and 2020. This includes the 2019 final, which featured a pair of sides from New Caledonia. Hienghene Sport defeated Magenta, 1-0, in front of 7,000.

Many of Eleven Sports’ livestreams and archived streams of sporting events are geoblocked in some or many areas. But its OFC Champions League streams are available either worldwide or nearly worldwide.

Note that much of MyCujoo’s content has been moved to Eleven Sports, which acquired it in 2020.

Wrapping Up

The OFC Champions League is an intriguing competition to watch as it features clubs from a little-talked-about region of the world battling for local glory — and sometimes more.

Fortunately, it is easy to watch in all or nearly all of the world with Eleven Sports.

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