Costa Rica might play a warm-up game before their FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off against New Zealand — or they might not.
So far, their officials are being cagey about their plans, with the Costa Rica FA stating:
“We talked with people from other federations but we still have to see other firm offers with the coaching staff and see how they can be accommodated in the calendar, before the playoffs and also after.”
A five-strong delegation from the CRFA visited Qatar in late March to check out the grounds and training facilities ahead of the play-off in mid-June, and in anticipation of qualification for the finals tournament to be held in November/December.
The CRFA statement said:
“It was very helpful to be in the draw with the other countries. In addition to the event, transportation options, customs, hotels, security, etc. were seen; that is to say, what we should see the countries that still have the option to participate.
“The repechage is organized by FIFA and we know that it will be on June 14, we were able to observe hotels and the training ground that the national team will have.
“We visited the camp that the national team would have in case of qualifying, we saw what the operation would be and what the hotel and training ground are like, as well as the distances to the stadiums once the draw was known. We are very happy with the conditions that we would have and that we would review in greater depth once classified.”
Main photo: Costa Rica … meet New Zealand in a one-off play-off game after they finished fourth in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying series.
Play-off date/time still to be confirmed
The exact date and kick off time for the Costa Rica/New Zealand game has not been confirmed though it’s likely to be held early morning on June 14 or 15 (NZT), depending on the two countries reaching agreement.
A key factor will be agreements with broadcasters.
New Zealand Football administrators are trying to arrange two warm-up games for the All Whites, preferably with teams that play a style similar to Costa Rica.
One potential opponent is Peru who would find New Zealand a suitable match-up ahead of their game against Australia.