International football is coming
back to Dunedin with confirmation the All Whites will play
their final home World Cup qualifier at Forsyth Barr Stadium
The March 22 fixture against New Caledonia will be the first
time the national team has played in the city for 25 years.
A win in the Friday night match will provide New Zealand
coach Ricki Herbert and his charges Oceania's place in the
intercontinental playoff against the fourth-placed Concacaf
(North and Central American) nation in November 2013.
A draw would leave the All Whites needing a point four days
later in the Solomon Islands, while a win for New Caledonia
would see them draw level with New Zealand with a game to
"Anything is a possibility but nothing can be taken for
granted in World Cup qualification," said All Whites coach
The match is the first football international at the indoor
Forsyth Barr Stadium, and is the first time the All Whites
have played in Dunedin since 1988 against Australia.
New Zealand Football chief executive Grant McKavanagh said
Dunedin was long overdue to host a high profile All Whites
match, with other venues around New Zealand hosting key
matches in the recent past.
"New Zealand Football is committed to playing matches around
the country. We've already played All Whites fixtures in
Auckland, Christchurch and now Dunedin."
The city was also the venue for New Zealand's first
international when it played against Australia at Carisbrook
"Dunedin is noted for its love of sport and 'scarfie'
population," McKavanagh said. "In bringing this crucial match
to Forsyth Barr Stadium, we're hoping to see supporters from
the region get out en masse and support the All Whites as
they chase a berth at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil."
Several of the Herbert's potential All Whites will get an
advanced look at the venue when the Wellington Phoenix plays
the Melbourne Heart at Forsyth Barr Stadium on March 3 in the