New Zealand have put in place plans to return to international football this October against the No 1 FIFA ranked team in the world Belgium.

The All Whites have laid provisional plans to take on The Red Devils at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Friday, October 9 at 6:45am NZT (Thursday, October 8 at 8:45pm CET).

All Whites coach Danny Hay said this loomed as a great chance for his side to compete on the big stage.

“The prospect of playing the No 1 team in the world is massive. This is a real opportunity for the team to test themselves against some of the best players on the planet,” he said.

“Playing any game in this environment is going to have its difficulties but I can’t wait to be back with the squad.”

New Zealand Football (NZF) CEO Andrew Pragnell said:

“Putting on any sporting event in these times is challenging but the return of professional club football over these past months, and now international football across Europe, has been very encouraging. The number of Kiwis playing professional football in Europe now makes fixtures such as this more viable at this time.

“We will be approaching the prospect of this event cautiously and taking every step to ensure the safety of players and have agreed with the Royal Belgian Football Association that if at any point either football association deem the event unsafe it will be cancelled. It is also subject to NZF receiving further advice on the revision of the Oceania qualification path to the 2022 FIFA WC qualification.

“A few months ago it didn’t look like international football would be able to happen this year, and this event is provisional on health and safety assessments being met, however being proactive in our planning like this will ensure we don’t miss out on opportunities to best prepare the All Whites for 2022 FIFA WC qualification.”

Courtesy of New Zealand Football.