All Whites skipper Chris Wood to miss Nations Cup games due to wedding

New Zealand men’s national team captain Chris Wood will miss the All Whites’ games at June’s OFC Nations Cup after a clash of dates with his upcoming wedding.

Wood originally booked his wedding outside of the official FIFA windows, so he would not miss any games, but the OFC Nations Cup was then scheduled in its own international window, similar to the Euros or AFCON, which unfortunately clashed with the date.

Main photo: Chris Wood … ‘I’ll be the team’s biggest supporter from afar.’

The All Whites captain said: “Playing for my country is a massive honour and something I have always made a priority during my career.

“When I booked my wedding, I made sure to schedule it around the FIFA windows so I wouldn’t have to miss any games but unfortunately the OFC Nations Cup was then scheduled outside of that.

“I would love to be able to do both, but unfortunately, that isn’t possible, so I’m going to have to miss the tournament but be the team’s biggest supporter from afar instead.”

All Whites head coach Darren Bazeley said: “Chris loves playing for the All Whites and is always keen to be part of every tour.

“He has had another outstanding season in the Premier League so would of course have been a big asset to the side but his absence just means that another player gets the opportunity to lead the line for the team.”

About the OFC Nations Cup

New Zealand will defend their Oceania Nations Cup men’s title at a two-week tournament in Vanuatu from June 15-30.

The national side will meet hosts Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands in Group A of the eight-nation competition.

Group B will comprise Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tahiti and Samoa.

The tournament semi-finals will be held on Wednesday June 26, and the tournament final and third-place play-off will be staged on Sunday June 30, 2024.

The All Whites won the cup when the last tournament was held in 2016.

It was the fifth time New Zealand had taken the OFC title, with previous wins in 1973, 1998, 2002 and 2006.

New Zealand were to host the tournament in 2020 but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Game to be played on Saturday June 15, 2024

New Zealand v New Caledonia
VFF Fresh Water Stadium, Port Vila, 1pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Tuesday June 18, 2024

New Zealand v Solomon Islands
VFF Fresh Water Stadium, Port Vila, 1pm (NZT)

Game to be played on Friday June 21, 2024, 2024

New Zealand v Vanuatu
VFF Fresh Water Stadium, Port Vila, 4pm (NZT)

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