9 Apr 2014

Top All Whites could skip friendly

9:28 am on 9 April 2014

New Zealand Football has confirmed a friendly against South Africa at the end of May but there's no guarantee the All Whites' best players will be available.

The game falls outside the international window and comes at the end of the European club season when players are on holiday.

The Ipswich defender Tommy Smith chose to miss New Zealand's friendly with Japan in March as he reportedly needed a break.

But New Zealand Football's chief executive Andy Martin says European-based professionals have a responsibility to play.

He says while players can't be forced to return they're expected to be available for fixtures that are important to the public, the national side and its sponsors.

The match will be played at Mount Smart stadium in Auckland on May the 30th.