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Eastern Suburbs pulled out of OFC inaugural Women’s Champions League

New Zealand Women’s National Champions, the Eastern Suburbs Auckland Football Club

(ESAFC) have pulled out of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Inaugural Women’s

Champions League, which will be held on June 1st in Port Moresby, National Capital District.

The Eastern Suburbs have pulled out of the nine-day tournament for security reasons, costs,

and timing. The withdrawal of the Suburbs has forced the OFC Committee to re-adjust and

re-organize the draws.

Suburbs’ Chairman, Simon Hilton said the Women’s OFC Champions League was rushed and

not planned properly. It was poorly coordinated and planned.

“OFC first announced this tournament in January for a March tournament. ESAFC reviewed

the costs involved, the tournament location and the timing. We decided we were not able

to attend with concerns over costs, timing and security, said Suburbs’ Chairman Simon


As a result, OFC moved the tournament to June, said Chairman Hilton.

“We were advised at the start of May, the details around the tournament in June, which

included additional funding support with no further information around the security plans.

As we were pressed on these, we were advised they are being worked on and would be

completed by the end of May and assured they would be fine;

“In consultation with the ESAFC Executives and the players, we decided against participating

and withdrawing from the tournament. This was due to security concerns along with a

significant amount of money still required on a short timeline;

“ESAFC supports the introduction of this tournament for the female game. However, we

believe it has been rushed and needs to be communicated to teams before they enter

competitions, allowing clubs time to prepare and plan.”

The OFC Committee have not made any public statement regarding the withdrawal of

Eastern suburbs to partake in the Inaugural Women’s OFC Champions League.

With Eastern Suburbs withdrawing, only five teams will participate in the much-anticipated

tournament in a round-robin format/draw.

The five (5) teams are: Hekari United (PNG); Koloale (Solomon Islands); Labasa (Fiji); AS

Academy Faminine (New Caledonia); and Kiwi (Samoa).

The five (5) teams are prepared to battle it out in the biggest arena in NCD. They are also

prepared to stake their claim to the 2023 Women’s Inaugural OFC Champions League


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