Coronavirus: Football's OFC Nations Cup in New Zealand cancelled

All Whites players Andre de Jong and Tommy Smith.
All Whites players Andre de Jong and Tommy Smith. Photo credit: Photosport

The 2020 Oceania Nations Cup, the final stage of which was scheduled to take place in New Zealand in June, has been cancelled.

With the first stage in the Cook Islands in March already postponed, the Oceania Football Confederation executive committee has announced the tournament will be completely abandoned, due to complexities caused by the coronavirus.

Postponement was ruled out, with international windows later in the year prioritised for FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

OFC general secretary Franck Castillo describes the cancellation as a disappointing reality of the COVID-19 situation.

"While the Nations Cup is the flagship tournament for men’s football in OFC, the health and safety of the football community is our top priority," Castillo says.

"With that in mind, it was only fair that our executive committee came to this conclusion, as we continue our fight to stop the spread of coronavirus."

New Zealand are reigning champions, after winning the last edition in Papua New Guinea in 2016.

Last month, the OFC announced that all football activities across the Pacific would be suspended until at least May 6.

It says it will continue to liaise with the football community around when any future tournaments may be played.