New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh has
apologised for the failure of any of the All Whites to show up
to a pre-arranged breakfast with ex-pat children in Shanghai
this week, but said they were unaware of the function until the
The All Whites were expected at the event organised by expat
organisation Kea the morning after their 1-1 draw with China,
but only New Zealand Football (NZF) chairman Fran van Hattum
Kiwi dairy businessman Howard Moore said on Facebook it was a
bad look, especially after a number of the team went to the
exclusive M1nt Club - which has its own shark tank and ranks
third in global venue sales of Dom Perignon - after the
"Great to see the All Whites vs China last night here in
Shanghai," Moore wrote.
"The All Whites probably deserved to win based on their
second half performance but it probably didn't really matter.
But the All Whites' efforts were obliterated by their failure
to turn up the next morning at a KEA breakfast function to
which many kids came along expecting to see the All Whites as
"The reality was they went out to the M1nt Bar nightclub and
couldn't make the effort to turn up for this breakfast. The
All Whites were paid by MFAT to play in this game and, as
ambassadors for New Zealand, should have been able to muster
some of their team to turn up.
"New Zealand Soccer is never going to win the hearts and
minds of the New Zealand population if this is the attitude
they are going to take. Everyone of course is making
comparisons with the All Blacks. They would have turned up
with some of their number."
Mr Moore's wife Gillian said "poor wee kids" were left
waiting with pen and paper - including one family who had
travelled from Hong Kong.
Mr McKavanagh said they were unaware of the function until
after the game but should have made more effort to arrange
for some players to show.
"We unreservedly apologise to those who expected to see us
there and were disappointed," he said. "The first I knew
about it was after the game and it wasn't on the team
schedule for the tour. I am just trying to track down what
was going on.
"We were still trying to find out details when we got back to
the hotel but everyone tends to disperse then. In hindsight,
we could have got more done around it and are really
disappointed that it didn't occur. It's one of those things
we have to pick up and understand how the event got organised
without us having a clear understanding of it and make sure
it doesn't happen again."
The episode could lead to some diplomatic fallout because the
game was organised with the help of the New Zealand and
Chinese governments. There were also hopes beforehand the two
nations would play more regularly.
Mr McKavanagh said they plan to arrange for striker Chris
Killen, who plays club football in China, to be a guest at a
future breakfast and hand out some memorabilia.
"When we get the opportunity at one of their functions, we
will get Chris along to meet with them."