Football in New Zealand
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.
The Goal project
New Zealand has been on the waiting list of beneficiaries of the Goal Programme for quite a while. Plans for association headquarters had existed for a long time but it proved practically impossible to find a suitable plot of land in the area of Auckland. On 3 December 2006, the Goal Bureau granted an alternative proposal - for completion by mid-2007 - to lay an artificial turf pitch at Auckland's North Harbour Stadium, where New Zealand play their most important international matches. The new playing surface was officially inaugurated on 5 May 2007.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Artificial turf pitch at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland
Project approved on
3 December 2006
Opened on 5 May 2007
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 Other sources USD 2,500,000 Total cost USD 2,900,000