29 Oct 2009

Young Maori and Pacific Island players turn to football

7:01 pm on 29 October 2009

The All Whites are not so all white these days.

Waatea News reports almost half the Young New Zealand football team at the FIFA under-17 World Cup competition in Nigeria are of Maori or Pacific Island descent.

New Zealand Football communications manager Jamie Scott says young Maori are being attracted away from rugby and league to a sport which offers international opportunities.

The team drew 1-1 with Costa Rica on Monday and met Burkina Faso at 4am on Thursday (NZT).

The game was suspended for a lengthy period because of torrential rain. The final score was 1-1.