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Hekari United OFC Quest

BY Jonah KEI         |        SportsTok Magazine Online


The 2023 National Soccer League (NSL) runners-up, Hekari United Football Club are preparing themselves to take part in the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Champions League, which will be held in Vanuatu next month (May 14th – 27th, 2023).

Hekari have defeated the 2023 NSL Reigning Champions in Lae City FC last month to book themselves an OFC Champions League qualification spot.

The OFC Member Associations have a total of eighteen (18) teams. Out of the 18 teams in the OFC Member Associations, seven are Developed Associations, while four are Developing Associations.


The seven (7) Developed Associations are as follows:

1.  Fiji

2. New Zealand

3. Papua New Guinea

4. Solomon Islands

5. Tahiti

6. New Caledonia

7. Vanuatu


The four (4) Developing Associations are:

1. American Samoa

2. Cook Islands

3. Samoa

4. Tonga


Eight (8) teams have been confirmed to participate in the OFC Champions League next month. The 8 qualified teams are:

1. New Zealand – Auckland City FC

2. Fiji – Suva FC

3. Papua New Guinea – Hekari United FC

4. Solomon Islands – Solomon Warriors

5. Tahiti – AS Pirae

6. New Caledonia – Tiga Sport

7. Samoa – Lupe Ole Soaga

8. Vanuatu – Ifira Black Bird


These eight qualified teams/countries are looking forward to battling each other out in the upcoming highly anticipated OFC Champions League. The winner of the final will earn the right to play in the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

 The last time Hekari United FC played at the OFC Champions League was five years ago. They have played in the OFC Champions League couple of times in the past, so they are no strangers to the tournament.

The Hekari United FC coach, Erikson Komeng had to say this:

“We will take a professional approach into the tournament. We have not been in the Champions League for the past five years and to get back in is exciting. There are some very strong teams so we will have to be at our best. We will use the 2010 winning Hekari team to motivate the boys. Before we leave for Vanuatu, we will travel to the Solomon Islands for a couple of friendlies to help prepare us for the tournament.”

Hekari will be banking on the experience of Ati Kepo to make their presence felt in the tournament. The 26-year-old striker has represented PNG seven (7) times. He will use his experience to guide and steer the team around the pitch. Kepo will be a threat to the opposition teams. Most of the current Hekari players are young and in-experience, but they are upbeat and determined to stake their claim for the title.

The eight (8) qualified teams are prepared to contend for the OFC Champions League Title next month to secure a spot in the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup challenge in Saudi Arabia.

Hekari United FC Fixtures:

* Hekari United FC vs Vanuatu Ifira Black Bird – Monday, May 15th, 2023

* Hekari United FC vs New Caledonia Tiga Sport – Thursday, May 18th, 2023

* Hekari United FC vs Tahiti AS Pirae – Sunday, May 21st, 2023

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