OFC Champions League
|Number of teams||12 (group stage)
|Current champions||Auckland City FC|
|Most successful team(s)||Auckland City FC (7 titles)|
|2014–15 OFC Champions League|
The OFC Champions League, also known as the O-League, is the premier men's club football competition in Oceania. It is organized by the OFC, Oceania's football governing body. It has been organized since 2007 under the current format, following its predecessor, the Oceania Club Championship. Eight O-League titles have been won by teams from New Zealand and one was won by a team from another country, Papua New Guinea champion Hekari United, who won the competition in the 2009–10 season by defeating New Zealand team Waitakere United and also becoming the first Pacific team to have won it.
At first, this competition was played as a single playoff match between champions of New Zealand and Australia. That competition was held in 1987 and Adelaide City won the inaugural season. Then 12 years pause came, until OFC organized next, all Oceania Cup. In January 1999 Oceania Club Championship was held in Fijian cities of Nadi and Lautoka. Nine teams took part, with Australian side South Melbourne winning the trophy. They also qualified to next year's FIFA Club World Cup. Next competition was held two years later, with again Australian team winning the title. Wollongong Wolves won it, beating Vanuatu representative Tafea in final. Two more editions were held under this name and format, with Sydney and Auckland City winning titles. OFC decided to change competition format and name, so since 2007 the competition is known as OFC Champions League.
Oceania Club Championship
The Oceania Club Championship was played on one or two venues, in one host country. It was played with two or three groups with single round-robin format, semifinals and final. It usually lasted about 10 days, with matches being played every 2 days.
OFC Champions League
OFC decided to change competition format, to make its main competition more interesting and more important to competing clubs.
The first two seasons saw competition with two groups of three teams each, and from the third edition onwards it consists of two groups of four teams each. Group winners progress to the final, played in double playoff format, with the winner taking the title. Unlike its previous format, O-League lasts more than a half year, starting in October and ending next year, in April. The O-League winner qualifies to FIFA Club World Cup, entering the competition in playoff round.
For the 2012–13 season O-League changed its format. At first, we saw introduction of qualifying stage, with champions of four weakest leagues compete for a play-off spot with the representative of country with worst record from previous edition of the O-League, and later we saw schedule and format change for main tournament too. That competition was played between March and May 2013 with introduction of semifinal stage and final played on neutral venue. First O-League one-legged final was played in Auckland, and was the first O-League final between two teams from the same country, with Auckland City defeating Waitakere United to win its 5th title.
OFC Champions League saw another change for 2013–14 season with group stage played on pre-determined location with semifinal and final played on home and away basis. Fiji was selected as host. Preliminary stage was played six months before group stage, and the winner entered the group stage.
Starting from 2014, both finalists of the OFC Champions League will also participate in the OFC President's Cup, an invitational tournament organized by the OFC.
It has been suggested that the Wellington based Australian A-League club, the Wellington Phoenix, should take part in the O-League. This is unlikely to happen because, despite being based in New Zealand, the Wellington Phoenix are technically an Australian team. Their players are all registered with Football Federation Australia which is part of the Asian Football Confederation.
Records and statistics
Oceania Club Championship era
|Season||Winner||Score||Runner-up||Venue||Attendance||Number of teams||Number of associations|
||1 – 1
||Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide||3,500||9||9|
||5 – 1||Nadi
||Prince Charles Park, Nadi||10,000||9||9|
||1 – 0||Tafea
||Lloyd Robson Stadium, Port Moresby||3,000||11||11|
||2 – 0||AS Magenta
||Stade Pater, Papeete||4,000||12||11|
||3 – 1||AS Pirae
||North Harbour Stadium, Auckland||2,000||11||10|
OFC Champions League era
|Auckland City||7||0||2006, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15|
|Waitakere United||2||2||2007, 2007–08|
Wins by country
|Papua New Guinea||1||0|
Australia is no longer an OFC member.