Football bosses are “in advanced discussions” with the All Whites’ next potential opponents for a game in the March 2023 international window.
New Zealand Football say it’s the first available official window for a fixture because November’s FIFA-regulated window is only binding on players from countries that have qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
In response to speculation about the future of head coach Danny Hay, NZF have said in a statement that they “look forward to sitting down” with him.
Main photo: The All Whites attracted nearly 35,000 fans to Auckland’s Eden Park for their friendly against Australia’s Socceroos. Photo: Phototek.
New Zealand Football’s statement in full
“For the All Whites, the priority for New Zealand Football is planning for the next four-year cycle with meaningful games and a solid structure in place to continue the development of this exciting generation of talent.
“Following the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying cycle, New Zealand Football commissioned an independent campaign de-brief, as has been undertaken for previous major national team activity including most recently the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.
“The objective of the debrief is to analyse what went well and could be improved from the campaign, identifying recommendations to take into future national team activity. The de-brief has been conducted by interviewing a wide selection of players and staff involved in the campaign.
“Following completion of the debrief, scheduled for mid-October, we look forward to sitting down with Danny Hay to discuss his future and how to continue the development (of) the team leading into the next Olympic campaign and FIFA World Cup qualifying cycle.
‘Looking to have the team play in every international window’
“Following the return to international action after COVID-19 restrictions, it has been great to see the All Whites playing in every possible FIFA match window.
“As the team, unfortunately, did not qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022, our players do not automatically get released by their club sides in November as it is not an official FIFA window for non-World Cup qualified sides.
“We are therefore committed to playing in the first available official window which, because of the schedule changes required to play the FIFA World Cup in November, is March 2023.
“New Zealand Football are already in advanced discussions with the opponent for this window. The team will also be looking to play in every subsequent official FIFA window.
“It was brilliant to see nearly 35,000 Kiwis at Eden Park last weekend. It is the long-stated aim of New Zealand Football to be bringing our national sides home more regularly and the record-breaking crowd at Eden Park is just the start of having all our teams play in Aotearoa on a more consistent basis.”