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All Whites' friendly against world No.1 Belgium scrapped

The All Whites' friendly against world No.1 Belgium which was scheduled to take place later this year has been cancelled.

Source: 1 NEWS

New Zealand Football announced this afternoon they had to withdraw from the 9 October fixture in Brussels because they could not get enough players together.

"We are incredibly disappointed to be in this position but from the outset our first priority was our players," New Zealand Football chief executive officer Andrew Pragnell said.

"As it currently stands we aren't able to get enough of our team to the game and back to their respective countries without major disruptions to their domestic seasons.

"We knew when agreeing this fixture that the impact of Covid-19 was fluid but with a number of our squad unable to travel due to Covid restrictions, or having to go through significant quarantine on their return home, it became unfeasible.

"It would have taken them out of contention for their club sides and impacted on their long-term development as players and their careers."

With various Covid-19 restrictions in place in different countries, FIFA relaxed rules for the September and October international windows which meant clubs weren't obliged to release players as they usually were.

While some clubs were still willing to release their All Whites, it's understood there were issues trying to get players especially based in the US for the fixture.

The All Whites' other scheduled friendly against fourth-ranked England on 13 November is still in the air with NZF stating they will continue to monitor the situation for that game and other possible fixtures.