Tonga withdraw from FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ OFC preliminary competition

The Tonga Football Association has informed FIFA of its decision to withdraw from the OFC preliminary competition for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ as a consequence of the recent natural disaster that has ravaged the region.

Tonga had been set to play off against the Cook Islands in a single-legged qualifying match to decide who would earn the right to feature in Group A of the preliminary competition. The winners of the preliminary competition, which is set to be staged in Qatar, will represent Oceania in the intercontinental play-offs.

The withdrawal means that the qualifying match, which was scheduled for 13 March, will not take place and the Cook Islands will instead automatically join the Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu in Group A.