Formed in 1966 (with founder members Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea), the Oceania Football Confederation was initially recognized by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) as an independent geographical entity that could represent the interests of football development in the South Pacific, and to which the executive committee of FIFA could grant some of the rights conferred to the five other fully recognized continental confederations. At its Congress in 1996, FIFA conferred full confederational status upon Oceania, and incorporated this decision into its statutes. Oceania emerged from the ambitions of Australian and New Zealand football administrators to gain some geopolitical recognition from FIFA. Early presidents were Australians Sir William Walkley and Vic Tutting. Australia was soon lobbying to join the Asian confederation, and pulled out of Oceania in 1972. New Zealander Jack Cowie took over the vacant presidential position until Australia, snubbed by the Asian confederation, rejoined with Australian Sir Arthur George as president, in 1977. In 1982 Charles Dempsey, Oceania secretary, made a successful challenge for the presidency. Dempsey resigned in 2000, after controversially abstaining from the FIFA executive committee vote that awarded the 2006 (men's) World Cup Finals to Germany rather than South Africa. Though Oceania has had up to twelve members, and for fourteen years accommodated Chinese Taipei so that the Republic of China would not withdraw from the Asian confederation, Australian and New Zealand rivalries have dominated confederation politics; and on 1 January 2006 Australia again withdrew to join the Asian confederation, in which a guaranteed place for the World Cup Finals could be allocated through the confederation's qualifying competition. The OFC continued to be based at its headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand, with eleven members.
http://www.oceaniafootball.com/ The official site of the federation, including news, features, publications, and contacts.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.