National futsal side and current OFC Futsal champions, the Kurukura, are facing threat in this year’s upcoming OFC competition with foreign inclusion into the competition.
This is with the latest inclusion of foreign flair after confirmation that two non-Oceania teams, Australia and Malaysia will be participating in the championship.
OFC has reportedly stated that this year’s event is not a regional qualifier for the FIFA Futsal World Cup, thus OFC is able to extend a welcome to teams from other confederations.
The invitational nature of the tournament may increase further with the possibility of one more Asian representative taking up the offer.
But despite the threat, Kurukuru head coach, Dickson Kadau was unmoved.
He said the new inclusions may have the wealth of experience by whatever means but Kurukuru are prepared to take them on.
“We have met Australia in the past prior to our World Cup campaign and we are sure to match them this time around.
“Whilst we are yet to play Malaysia we are certain to be competitive and defend our title.”
Kadau in an earlier interview indicated that he would like to have a full force team in this year’s OFC Futsal Championship.
“I believe we have the capacity to defend the title and that’s what we are aiming for,” Kadau said.
Kurukuru are currently the only nation to have won the OFC championship since Australia’s departure but are likely to face the toughest examination of their credentials yet with the inclusion of the Asian representatives and the continual growth of futsal throughout the Pacific region.
The OFC Futsal Championship tournament will be held at The Trusts Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, from July 23 to 27.
Teams will be drawn into two groups and each side will compete in a round robin system before a knockout stage involving semi-finals, a play off for third and a final.