Reigning champions New Zealand are not playing in the OFC Women's Nations Cup ©Getty Images

A first-time winner is guaranteed at the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Women's Nations Cup, with reigning champions New Zealand absent from a tournament due to begin in Fiji tomorrow.

The tournament offers a route to the FIFA Women's World Cup, set to be co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia next year.

The Football Ferns have opted to skip the OFC Women's Nations Cup, having already qualified for the World Cup as co-hosts.

Australia is in the Asian Football Confederation, rather than the OFC, and the same goes for Chinese Taipei - champions in 1989 and 1986.

The winner of this year's tournament - which has faced COVID-19-related delays - will earn a spot in the inter-continental playoffs for the World Cup.

Papua New Guinea are the top-ranked team at the tournament, at 49 in the world ranking.

Hosts Fiji are 69th and finished runners-up at the 2018 OFC Women's Nations Cup, beating Papua New Guinea in the semi-finals.

Tonga were the other side in the premier pot one for the draw and are in Group A with Samoa and the Cook Islands.

Vanuatu and Tahiti complete Papua New Guinea's Group B, while the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia join Fiji in Group C.

All but one team will advance to the quarter-finals, from where a straight knockout will determine the winner.

ANZ Stadium in Suva is due to host all matches, while the officiating team will all be women.

The final is set for July 30.

Samoa and Tonga are meeting in the curtain-raiser tomorrow.