Association football in New Zealand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Association football in New Zealand
CountryNew Zealand
Governing bodyFootball
National team(s)New Zealand
National competitions
Club competitions
Audience records
Single match37,034 – (2017)
All Whites vs Peru (national team record)[1]
32,792 – (2010)
Wellington Phoenix FC vs Newcastle Jets (club – competitive)
31,853 – (2007)
Wellington Phoenix FC vs Los Angeles Galaxy (club – exhibition)
Season11,683 – (2007–08)
Wellington Phoenix FC (average)
173,614 – (2009–10)
Wellington Phoenix FC (cumulative)

Association football, also known as football or soccer, is a popular recreation sport in New Zealand. The sport is administered in New Zealand by the governing body New Zealand Football (NZF). It is the third-most popular men’s team sport after rugby union and cricket.

Among New Zealand adults, it is the 12th most participated in sport, at seven percent.[2] Among boys ages 5–17, it is the most participated in sport, with a 17 percent participation rate; among girls, it ranks fifth in popularity at six percent, behind swimming, netball, horse riding, and tennis.[2]


Seven regional federations participate in the administration and promotion of the sport in New Zealand:

History and achievements[edit]

The Seacliff AFC won the first Chatham Cup in 1923

The first Chatham Cup final was played in October 1923, when Seacliff from Otago defeated Wellington YMCA 4-0. The Chatham Cup has become New Zealand football's longest-running club competition.[3]

New Zealand's senior men's side, the All Whites, has qualified twice for the FIFA World Cup. In 1982 the qualification was notable in that New Zealand played more matches (15) and traveled further (55,000 miles) than any other team to qualify.[4] Grouped with Brazil, Scotland and the USSR, New Zealand did not win any of their matches. They also qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.[5] New Zealand drew all their matches and did not progress beyond the initial round. They were the only team to remain undefeated in the competition.

New Zealand also participated in the 2009 Confederations Cup, also in South Africa. They were placed in Group A with Iraq, South Africa, and Spain. New Zealand lost their opening match 0–5 against Spain before losing 0–2 to South Africa. However the team earned New Zealand's first competition point at a senior men's FIFA tournament after drawing 0–0 with Iraq. In the 2010 World Cup, they again exited in the first round, but had far more success on the field than in 1982 or in the Confederations Cup. The All Whites drew 1–1 with Slovakia and defending champion Italy and 0–0 with Paraguay.

New Zealand hosted the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, with matches played in North Shore City, Napier, Christchurch and Dunedin. New Zealand also hosted the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2008, with matches hosted in North Shore City, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

New Zealand's under-23 team, the "Oly-Whites", qualified for their first Olympic Games appearance in 2008 for the Beijing Summer Olympics. The Oly-Whites drew against China and lost against Belgium and Brazil.

The New Zealand's women's team also qualified for their first Olympic appearance, where they drew against Japan and lost to Norway and USA. In addition to this, the Football Ferns have participated in the 1991 and, more recently, the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cups. New Zealand won the 1975 AFC Women's Championship, defeating Thailand 3–1 in Hong Kong.

Professional football[edit]

Wellington Phoenix vs Melbourne Victory game at the Westpac Trust Stadium in August 2007.

Fully professional football began in 1999 with the induction of the Auckland-based Football Kingz FC into Australia's National Soccer League (NSL). Despite having a record of poor attendances, Auckland was included in the A-League competition when the NSL was scrapped in favour of an eight-franchise A-League. The Kingz were re-branded as New Zealand Knights FC but still only managed to draw small crowds. In their final season, the average attendance for the Knights was 3,014, well below the average of the next lowest attracting team—Perth Glory averaging 7,671.

During the later stages of the 2006–07 season, Football Federation Australia (FFA) removed the New Zealand Knights's (NZK) A-League licence due to the club's financial and administrative problems and poor on-field performance. After the resignation of the NZK board, the FFA transferred the licence to New Zealand Soccer for them to administrate the rest of the club's season before its subsequent dissolution.

After these events, the FFA granted a provisional competition licence for New Zealand Soccer to sub-let to a suitable, New Zealand-based team to take the place left vacant by the defunct Knights. After much delay from both the FFA and NZS, Wellington property magnate Terry Serepisos was selected as the owner of the new franchise. The team, eventually named Wellington Phoenix FC, would be based at Wellington's Westpac Stadium and coached by Ricki Herbert. Herbert also held the responsibility of coaching the New Zealand national team. With only three months to prepare, the Phoenix faced a first season without a proper pre-season and with a much smaller talent pool to recruit from.

The first game in Phoenix history, a 2–2 draw with then-reigning champion Melbourne Victory, set a new national record for attendance at a competitive football fixture at 14,421.[citation needed] The cumulative attendance over the first three home matches exceeded that of the Knights entire cumulative attendance from both years of their existence. The national attendance record was later exceeded a second time, with 18,345 turning out for a 1–2 loss against Adelaide United. The Phoenix followed this match with an exhibition friendly against Los Angeles Galaxy, including their marquee player David Beckham. The attendance from this match of 31,853 set a new national record for attendance at any football match which was only broken by the game the national team played with Bahrain to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.[6]

Wellington finished its first season last in the league on goal differential, having equal points with seventh-placed Perth Glory, and only earnt one more ladder point than the Knights had the previous season. Despite this, Phoenix was declared the success story of the 2007–08 season by the FFA.[citation needed]

On 7 March 2010 a new attendance record for a club football fixture was set in Wellington during play-off match against Newcastle Jets. Phoenix won 3–1 in the extra time in front of 32,792 fans.

National competitions[edit]

The current national senior men's competition is the ISPS Handa Premiership (previously known as the ASB Premiership and Stirling Sports Premiership), a professional/semi-professional franchise league founded in 2004. The Premiership runs in the summer, and currently consists of ten teams run by winter league clubs - Auckland City, Waitakere United, Eastern Suburbs, Hamilton Wanderers, Hawke's Bay United, Team Wellington, Tasman United, Canterbury United and Southern United, along with a Wellington Phoenix Reserves side. The Premiership provides New Zealand's two representatives to the OFC Champions League, namely the season champion and the winner off the playoffs. NZF also runs the National Youth League, with the academy sides affiliated with each Premiership franchise.

The National Women's League, unaffiliated with the Premiership, consists of seven Federation Representative teams playing each other once.

Before 2004, the national senior men's football competition was the National Soccer League. The NSL, founded in 1970, consisted of teams belonging to the regional leagues - for example, the inaugural NSL featured three teams from the Northern League, three from the Central League, and four from the now-defunct Southern League (now split into Mainland Premier League and Soccersouth Premier League). The NSL ceased to exist after the 2003 season.

The Chatham Cup is a national knockout competition in the style of England's FA Cup. It is the oldest competition, having been contested since 1923. It is open only to clubs from the regional winter competitions - NZFC sides are not eligible to compete, nor is Wellington Phoenix FC. The competition runs alongside the winter club seasons, beginning in April and usually concluding in September. The current holder is Auckland-based side Birkenhead United.[7]

The Women's Knockout Cup is New Zealand Footballs women's national club based knockout competition that was first played in 1994.[8]

Regional competition[edit]

Premier winter club competition is divided into four regional leagues:

National Champions[edit]

Year Champion (Titles) Runner up Score Venue Crowd
New Zealand National Soccer League
1970 Bay Olympic (1) Eastern Suburbs Season decided on league standings
1971 Eastern Suburbs (1) Mount Wellington
1972 Mount Wellington (1) Bay Olympic
1973 Christchurch United (1) Mount Wellington
1974 Mount Wellington (2) Christchurch United
1975 Christchurch United (2) North Shore United
1976 Wellington United (1) Mount Wellington
1977 North Shore United (1) Stop Out
1978 Christchurch United (3) Mount Wellington
1979 Mount Wellington (3) Christchurch United
1980 Mount Wellington (4) Gisborne City
1981 Wellington United (1) Dunedin City
1982 Wellington United (2) North Shore United
1983 Manurewa AFC (1) North Shore United
1984 Gisborne City (1) Papatoetoe AFC
1985 Wellington United (3) Gisborne City
1986 Mount Wellington (5) Miramar Rangers
1987 Christchurch United (4) Gisborne City
1988 Christchurch United (5) Mount Wellington
1989 Napier City Rovers (1) Mount Maunganui
1990 Waitakere City (1) Mount Wellington
1991 Christchurch United (6) Miramar Rangers
1992 Waitakere City (2) Waikato United
New Zealand Superclub League
1993 Napier City Rovers (1) Waitakere City 4–3 (a.e.t.) Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland Unknown
1994 North Shore United (2) Napier City Rovers 3–1 Park Island, Napier Unknown
1995 Waitakere City (3) Waikato United 4–0 Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland Unknown
Year Champion (Titles) Runner up Score Venue Crowd
National Summer Soccer League
1996 Waitakere City (4) Miramar Rangers 5–2 Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland Unknown
1996–97 Waitakere City (5) Napier City Rovers 3–1 Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland Unknown
1997–98 Napier City Rovers (2) Central United 5–2 Park Island, Napier Unknown
New Zealand Island Soccer Leagues
1999 Central United (1) Dunedin Technical 3–1 North Harbour Stadium, Auckland 3,500
National Club Championship
2000 Napier City Rovers (2) Waikato United 0–0 (4–3 pen.) North Harbour Stadium, Auckland Unknown
2001 Central United (1) Miramar Rangers 3–2 North Harbour Stadium, Auckland Unknown
2002 Miramar Rangers (1) Napier City Rovers 3–1 North Harbour Stadium, Auckland 2,500
2003 Miramar Rangers (2) East Auckland 3–2 North Harbour Stadium, Auckland 2,000
New Zealand Football Championship
2004–05 Auckland City (1) Waitakere United 3–2 North Harbour Stadium, Auckland Unknown
2005–06 Auckland City (2) Canterbury United 3–3 (4–3 pen.) North Harbour Stadium, Auckland Unknown
2006–07 Auckland City (3) Waitakere United 3–2 North Harbour Stadium, Auckland Unknown
2007–08 Waitakere United (1) Team Wellington 2–0 Douglas Field, Auckland 2,011
2008–09 Auckland City (4) Waitakere United 2–1 Douglas Field, Auckland 2,500
2009–10 Waitakere United (2) Canterbury United 3–1 Fred Taylor Park, Auckland Unknown
2010–11 Waitakere United (3) Auckland City 3–2 Douglas Field, Auckland 3,500
2011–12 Waitakere United (4) Team Wellington 4–1 Douglas Field, Auckland 2,500
2012–13 Waitakere United (5) Auckland City 4–3 (a.e.t.) Douglas Field, Auckland 1,600
2013–14 Auckland City (5) Team Wellington 1–0 Kiwitea Street, Auckland 2,232
2014–15 Auckland City (6) Team Wellington 2–1 Kiwitea Street, Auckland 1,853
2015–16 Team Wellington (1) Auckland City 4–2 (a.e.t.) QBE Stadium, Auckland 1,508
2016–17 Team Wellington (2) Auckland City 2–1 QBE Stadium, Auckland Unknown
2017–18 Auckland City (7) Team Wellington 1–0 QBE Stadium, Auckland 2,196


  1. ^ Hyslop, Liam (11 November 2017). "All Whites play out tense scoreless draw with Peru in World Cup playoff first leg". Stuff. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Top sports and physical activities". Archived from the original on 31 January 2006.
  3. ^ First Chatham Cup football final on NZ History
  4. ^ "1982 World Cup Team". Archived from the original on 5 June 2009.
  5. ^ "New Zealand qualify for 2010 World Cup finals". Reuters. 14 November 2009.
  6. ^ "New Zealand qualify for World Cup with play-off win over Bahrain". The Guardian. London. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  7. ^ "ultimatenzsoccer". ultimatenzsoccer. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  8. ^ "History". Ultimatenzsoccer. Retrieved 25 October 2017.

External links[edit]