Women’s and youth football development making progress in New Zealand
Thanks to FIFA Forward, women's and youth teams took part in international competitions
The member association is hopeful this will lead to sustainable results
With operational support, teams receive necessary means to travel and undertake intensive programmes
Participation in competitive matches is a key element in developing national teams. With FIFA Forward's investment of USD 588,197, New Zealand’s women’s team, nicknamed the Football Ferns, and All Whites youth teams have been able to complete a very intensive programme, involving an extensive travel schedule, and are on the right track, having achieved some significant results. Under the constant supervision of the New Zealand Football member association, this project allows the teams to move forward and provides them with the necessary means to achieve substantial and sustainable progress.
In the past, New Zealand have hosted the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, with matches played in North Shore City, Napier, Christchurch and Dunedin. New Zealand also hosted the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2008, with matches hosted in North Shore City, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. New Zealand's U-23 team, the "Oly-Whites", qualified for their first Olympic Games appearance in 2008 for the Beijing Summer Olympics. They drew against China PR and lost against Belgium and Brazil. With the new support provided by FIFA Forward, their promising achievements will get a necessary push to crystallise.
The Football Ferns also qualified for their first Olympic appearance in 2008, where they drew against Japan and lost to Norway and USA. In addition to this, they have participated in the 1991 and, more recently, the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. New Zealand won the 1975 AFC Women's Championship, defeating Thailand 3–1 in Hong Kong.
With the support received from the FIFA Forward programme, the Football Ferns and All Whites are on their way to celebrating many future victories and will undoubtedly proudly represent every Kiwi across Oceania and worldwide.