BY ROMULUS HUTA
THE women’s national soccer squad will be finalised this week.
Head Coach Diane Justus confirmed to SunSPORTS earlier this week.
“Training continues two days a week and final team will be named by Friday 20th July.”
The national women’s squad is preparing to take part in next month’s OFC Women’s Nations Cup Qualifier.
The tournament will be held at at Churchill Park in Lautoka, Fiji and will run from August 24 to August 30.
The preliminary competition brings the senior women’s teams from Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and American Samoa together to compete for the last remaining berth in the final tournament, which will take place in New Caledonia in November.
According to released schedules, Solomon Islands will take on American Samoa in the tournament opener on August 24, followed by Fiji on August 27 and later Vanuatu on August 30.
The winner of the qualifier will join hosts New Caledonia and reigning champions New Zealand in the final tournament along with Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, and Cook Islands.
The final tournament will be held in New Caledonia between 17 November and 4 December, with the match schedules yet to be finalised.
This is the first edition of the Women’s Nations Cup which will feature all 11 OFC Member Associations. The winner of the final tournament will represent Oceania at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 and the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament 2020.
Tahiti and New Caledonia will play in the qualifier but given their current status as non-members of the International Olympic Committee, if they finish at the top, they will only play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 but not the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament 2020.