The ongoing coronavirus situation has forced the cancellation of upcoming matches for the All Whites against Oman and Bahrain.
The New Zealand national team was due to play their opponents away from home during the FIFA window this month and while the overall health risk in Oman and Bahrain remains low, the volatile situation with border closures and self-isolation requirements could seriously effect travelling staff and players.
New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pragnell said it was important to ensure the ongoing safety of players and staff.
“Our people’s wellbeing is at the centre of all decision making, and we’ll continue to be guided and supported by NZ Government advice, the World Health Organisation and our own internal experts to keep our whole team safe,” he said in a statement.
“We’re obviously disappointed, because we’ve committed to playing as much as possible before the FIFA 2022 World Cup, but we believe this is the right outcome given the situation and risks attached.”