13 Oct 2017

NZ Football boss asks for fans to turn up heat

9:37 am on 13 October 2017
NZ Football chief executive Andy Martin.

NZ Football chief executive Andy Martin. Photo: Photosport

New Zealand Football boss Andy Martin is asking All Whites fans to make Peru's trip to this country for a World Cup playoff match as difficult as possible.

A berth at next year's World Cup in Russia is up for grabs when the All Whites face the world's 12th-ranked side in a home-and-away tie next month.

While the dates are yet to be confirmed by global governing body Fifa, Wellington will host the first leg and it is expected Peruvian capital Lima will be the venue for the second fixture.

Martin, who hoped to know by the end of the week if their request for the Wellington match to be played on Saturday, November 11 had been approved by Fifa, said it is was vital All Whites fans played their part.

"What we've got to understand is this is about Peru coming to New Zealand to stop us going to the World Cup and stop us winning 10 million dollars and that has major impact on [football in] New Zealand over the next five years.

"We need to do everything possible on and off the field to make it as difficult as possible for them to come into our manor and take that away from us.

"I've been appealing to everybody to start thinking about the consequences because when we go to South America we all know and joke about the fact of the noise levels outside the hotel, the disruptions, uncomfortableness and hostility, it's all going to happen.

"So it's about what is New Zealand collectively going to do to help Anthony (All Whites coach Anthony Hudson) win on the field. That's the key theme now, let's make it a very difficult experience for them."

The All Whites coach Anthony Hudson. China v New Zealand All Whites. 2014.

The All Whites coach Anthony Hudson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

In part, Martin believes it is already assured that will be the case.

Although many of the All Whites players are used to making the long journey from the other side of the world and playing within a few days, it is not a factor Peru are so familiar with.

Exactly how many days both teams will have in New Zealand to prepare for the Wellington match is still not completely clear but the hosts of that first leg have publicly made their preference known.

Martin said they had already been in contact with their Peruvian counterparts and was optimistic the two associations would be on the same page and that Fifa would rubber stamp those requests.

"I think we've both got the same concerns, issues and desires.

"We talk about it extensively every window [when we] bring players back to New Zealand. The window starts on a Sunday but we don't really start until Monday or Tuesday by the time we get players back.

"We've been expressing to our opponents how important this is for them to consider because they're in the same boat now … there is a lot of positioning and planning gone on in that regard.

"We've put in our proposal to say what we'd like, [Peru] make their comments and then we both go to Fifa … if both associations agree then usually it's not a problem."

If Fifa does not agree to November 11 for the Wellington match, it will likely be played on the night of Friday the 10th.

If they do agree to the Saturday, the second leg would be expected to be played in Peru on Wednesday the 15th (NZ time).

- RNZ

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