Beckham to face Wellington

English football icon David Beckham will play in an exhibition match in Wellington in December with his new club Los Angeles Galaxy, local football officials said on Tuesday.

The Galaxy will play Wellington Phoenix, newcomers to Australia's A-League competition, in New Zealand's capital on 2 December.

The deal to bring Beckham and his team to Wellington is dependent on the England international being fit enough to play at least 55 minutes of the match.

"It really is crucial that David Beckham takes the field and plays," Phoenix owner and chairman Terry Serepisos told a news conference.

Beckham was expected to miss six weeks of football after suffering a knee strain at the end of August but Serepisos said he was confident the star would be fit by December.

If the 32-year-old cannot play, the match would be postponed, he said.

He added he hoped Beckham's appearance would reignite interest in football in rugby-mad New Zealand.

It was unclear if Beckham's wife Victoria would accompany him.

Her recently re-formed pop group, The Spice Girls, said in June they planned to play 11 dates in December and January.

LA Galaxy will travel to New Zealand after playing a one-off match against Australian A-League side Sydney FC in Sydney on 27 November.