New Zealand Football (NZF) is looking to capitilise on the All Whites' qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ which resulted in football spending some much-needed time in the spotlight ahead of traditionally popular sports such as rugby and cricket. The All Whites' only other appearance at FIFA’s pinnacle event was in 1982 when young striker Wynton Rufer showed his worth and went on to become one of the best players in European club football. Also in the squad was goalkeeper Frank van Hattum, who is now the Chairman of NZF and is overseeing the new crop of talent as they compete on the world stage once again.
NZF was founded in 1891 and became affiliated to FIFA in 1948. Along with Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, New Zealand was one of the founding members of OFC when the confederation was formally approved in 1966. Since Australia’s exit to Asia in 2006, New Zealand has enjoyed numerous appearances at FIFA events including youth, men’s and women’s tournaments. The Young All Whites made history at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009 by becoming the first Kiwi side to qualify for the knockout stages of a FIFA event. The All Whites also went close to doing so a year later at South Africa 2010, recording a remarkable 1-1 draw with Italy and emerging at the only side to go through the tournament unbeaten. Van Hattum and acting CEO Mark Aspden are working hard to ensure this success continues.
New Zealand has also benefited from the FIFA Goal Programme with artifical pitches completed in 2007 at Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium - next to the NZF headquarters at Lion Foundation House - and in 2011 at Christchurch's ASB Football Park.