NZ Propose Fundraiser Soccer Game vs Britain Olympic Team

March 7, 2011

A potential Britain national soccer team could begin its preparations for London 2012 with a special fundraising match against New Zealand at Wembley Stadium for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake if a proposal from the President of the Oceania Football Confederation is accepted.

David Chung has already received approval for a “Football for Hope” match in principle from world governing body FIFA, to help the people affected by the earthquake in Christchurch last month, which killed 166 people with more than 30 still missing. 

Chung has now begun making overtures to see if Britain’s controversial Olympic team can be lined-up to be the opponents for the All Whites, who were the only undefeated side at last year’s World Cup in South Africa.

The controversy surrounding the possibility of a British Olympic team is currently the subject of a fierce row between the four Home Nations over who will be eligible to play. The Football Associations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland fear that they will lose their independence from FIFA were they to join forces, alongside England, in next year’s Olympics.

“FIFA have approved the concept of a ‘Football for Hope’ match,” Chung told the Sunday News in New Zealand.

“Despite the wish to do it quickly in a rush to confirm something, it’s going to take a bit of time.

“One thing we’ve floated is if Great Britain could put an Olympic side out in preparation for the 2012 Games.

“If New Zealand played at Wembley, being conservative, even if you only sold 40,000 tickets [roughly half capacity] at US$66, that’s $2.6m.”

The topic was raised by Chung and OFC secretary general Tai Nicholas this weekend during a visit to Celtic Manor in Wales where they were attending the International Football Association Board meeting, which is made up of FIFA and the four Home Nations.

“The four British associations are here and so are four representatives from FIFA,” Chung said. 

“So it will be a good time to discuss the idea.

“There’s a lot of hurdles to pass in terms of where and when, but a summer match would be good.”