Sunday, November 15, 2009

Football fever

Rory Fallon (in white) headers the winning goal

For the first time since Spain in 1982 the New Zealand football team has qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals by beating BaFIFAhrain last night in Wellington. The final score was 1-0.

Football doesn’t have a high profile here in NZ where it’s all about rugby, so it’s great that the sport will benefit from the increased exposure. Lots more kiwi kids play football over the last few years but when they reach a certain age the boys tend to swap to rugby  so comparatively few players reach the top levels unfortunately.

26 countries have qualified in 6 zones for the 2010 finals so far, while another 5 places are still to be finalised.

  • Europe: England, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia, Switzerland, Italy, Serbia and Spain
  • Africa: South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria
  • North America, Central America and Caribbean: United States, Honduras and Mexico
  • South America: Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Paraguay
  • Asia: Australia, Japan, Korea (North), Korea (South)
  • Oceania: New Zealand

The first games kick off in Johannesburg, South Africa in June 2010. Realistically we understand we’re minnows especially against the Euro teams and the big South American teams so we’ll no doubt be out after the first round but it’s just fun even getting there for us - who knows though what could happen?

Photographs by Getty Images

*EDIT* I just had a browse though a BBC forum regarding the New Zealand qualification. Some commenters there don’t share our joy.


  1. F*ck the BBC! Glad that you guys got through. You never no how far you'll go

  2. What Lermontov said! That was prolly written bya whingeing Pom.
    I think it's great for the profile of soccer here in NZ. It made my nephew's day, he was at the game, and it was his birthday, cool pressie, aye.

  3. congrats to the Kiwi team.
    the sourpuss in the forum should run spell and grammer check.

  4. My son's basketball coach always said "on any given day any given team can win"

  5. So, you're a sports fan, Lou? Sorry, but 1-0 sounds like it was b-o-r-i-n-g...wouldn't you think? When both teams are equal?

    Congrats to NZ for the win!

  6. Yeah you'd think so Kathryn but somehow it really is a beautiful game to watch, except for the theatrics that some of the Euro teams get up to. I am only just really acquiring a taste for this football but I sure am a sports fan - I can watch almost anything. Even golf if there's really nothing else on.


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