New Zealand Soccer Betting Odds
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Nickname(s): All Whites
Head coach: Ricki Herbert
Most caps: Ivan Vicelich (73) 1
Top scorer: Vaughan Coveny (28)
Home stadium: North Harbour Stadium(Auckland), Westpac Stadium(Wellington)
Football is the most popular sport in the 5 - 17 age group in New Zealand. However, the media (television, radio, newspapers) concentrate on the more traditional New Zealand pastimes of rugby union and cricket. In 1982, the national team qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Spain, and, having won the continental championship, represented Oceania at the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1999 (Mexico) and 2003 (France). The U-17 team qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Championship in 1997 (Egypt) and automatically as hosts in 1999. However, New Zealand has not produced many international stars. The name of just one player has any true meaning, especially in Europe: Wynton Rufer. He played for many years in Switzerland and Germany, before returning to New Zealand to coach the Football Kings in Auckland and help develop football in his home country. Today, Rufer has a range of varied duties, including membership of the FIFA Football Committee.
New Zealand Football wishes to launch a development programme involving the construction of regional technical centres in several phases over a number of years. To this end, on 1 December 2009 the Goal Bureau approved a project to fund the construction of an artificial turf pitch in Christchurch on the South Island. It is expected that the possibility of organising training and competitions in strategic areas will develop football practice in the southern regions of the country. Changing rooms and floodlighting will be added at a later stage.
OFC World Cup Qualifiers
The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is one of the six continental confederations of international association football, consisting of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and island nations such asTonga, Fiji and other Pacific Island countries. It promotes the game in Oceania and allows the member nations to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.