Soccer-Bamboozled: NZ coach knocks FIFA out on World Cup qualifying tournament

(Dan Tri) – New Zealand coach Danny Hay has criticized FIFA for scheduling World Cup qualifiers for the Oceania region outside the international window, saying it will not happen to any region. any other area.

The nine-team tournament will be held in Qatar from March 14-30 to decide which team advances to the play-offs with the fourth-placed team from CONCACAF, featuring nations from North and Central America, and the Caribbean. .

World governing body FIFA has given Oceania nations a one-day extension to international play time from March 21-29 but they will have to haggle with clubs to free players. in the first week of the tournament.

New Zealand is disproportionately affected by the fixture schedule as they have more players in professional clubs than their Pacific counterparts.

“This is not going to happen anywhere else in the world,” Hay told New Zealand media.

“I am here in Denmark at the moment and trying to explain how this happened, no one can understand.

“I spoke to the Danish Football Federation today, and they just talked to each other.

“Imagine telling the Danish national team that you have qualified for the World Cup, but you cannot choose your best players?

“For me and our players, it’s disappointing.”

New Zealand was the last Oceania team to qualify for the World Cup when they reached the finals in 2010 in South Africa.

They were drawn in Group B of the Oceania tournament with New Caledonia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

“Every player I have called up so far is a professional, they are operating in a professional environment, but the clubs will not be willing to hand over their players in the middle of the season,” Hay said. .

“It’s a tough one to swallow, that we won’t get the chance to gather our best players together to give us the best chance of qualifying.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

https://whbl.com/2021/11/29/soccer-bamboozled-nz-coach-slams-fifa-over-world-cup-qualifying-tournament/ Soccer-Bamboozled: NZ coach knocks FIFA out on World Cup qualifying tournament


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