The Bureau of the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup ™ today confirmed the cancellation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, OFC preliminary competition match between New Zealand and Fiji, originally scheduled to be played in Auckland on 13 October 2007.
The Bureau took this decision as a result of the New Zealand government's refusal to grant a visa to the Fijian goalkeeper, Simione Tamanisau, thus depriving the Fijian team of being able to field its full team in the upcoming qualifying match.
Upon review of the situation, the Bureau found that in this case, the goalkeeper should have the right to play. Therefore, in order to preserve this sporting principle as well as the competitive integrity of the 2010 FIFA World Cup preliminary competition, FIFA could not allow the match to take place under the current conditions.
In view of the above situation, the Bureau will meet before the end of this month to decide when and where this fixture will take place.
FIFA also confirmed that the second leg of the series, the Fiji-New Zealand match to be played on 17 October 2007 at Churchill Park in Lautoka, Fiji, will take place as originally scheduled.
Furthermore, FIFA would like to emphasise the cooperation and good faith efforts of New Zealand Football, the Fiji Football Association and the Oceania Football Confederation in their respective attempts to resolve this issue.