New Zealand Football has reviewed its options for its men’s and women’s national league competitions and its two premium cup competitions in the wake of latest plans to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following news that Auckland and the Waikato will continue to adhere to level 3 restrictions, the national body has announced:
- The men’s and women’s national championships are unlikely to go ahead as previously planned but a final decision will be made on November 1 following the government’s scheduled alert level update.
- The Football Foundation Kate Sheppard Cup – which is at the semi-final stage – will be completed in 2022.
- The Chatham Cup will be completed this year only if semi-finalists North Shore United are able to resume training and travel outside of their region. Otherwise, the cup will be completed next year.
If the national leagues cannot proceed in their original format, an alternative competition will look to run from November 6-7, featuring teams from outside of Auckland and Waikato.
“It has been hugely challenging few months for clubs, players, federations and ourselves,” says Daniel Farrow, GM Football at New Zealand Football.
“Throughout the lockdown we have worked up a number of scenarios to try to play the National League Championship but we are well aware it is looking increasingly unlikely that we are going to be able to.
“While we have committed to not running the National League Championship without the Auckland sides, playing some form of competition for those teams who are able to be involved is something we are actively looking at.
“We know that players need high-quality minutes to develop and if we are able to run some alternative competition, should the National League Championship not be possible, it is in the interest of the game for us to do so.”
In the men’s game, any alternative competition would not have any bearing on OFC Champions League qualification, which is separately being discussed with OFC.