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All Whites fixtures moved from UAE to Egypt

Chris Wood
Chris Wood and the All Whites will face Egypt in Cairo on March 23 at the W Cup. PHOTO: NZ FOOTBALL

The March All Whites fixtures against Egypt and Croatia or Tunisia this month have changed host country, moving from Abu Dhabi, UAE to Cairo, Egypt.

The change in location comes after the four football federations of Croatia, Egypt, New Zealand and Tunisia simultaneously notified the organiser of the previously agreed W Cup of breaches of the key contract clauses, and proceeded to find a suitable new solution.

The dates for the matches will remain the same with the All Whites now set to play world No 36 Egypt in Cairo on Saturday, March 23 March NZT (Friday, March 22).

The winner of the fixture will play the winner of Croatia-Tunisia match on Wednesday, March NZT (Tuesday, March 26). The loser of the fixture will play the loser of Croatia-Tunisia on Tuesday, March 26 NZT (Monday, March 25 local time).

All matches will take place in the Egyptian capital, with venues and kick-off times to be announced in due course. 

The All Whites have also confirmed their first fixture of the September FIFA international window, taking on world No 15 Mexico at the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California on Sunday, September 8 at 12.30pm NZT (Saturday, September 7 at 5.30pm local time).

The match continues the team’s strategy of facing top-50 ranked sides in preparation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying starting at the end of the year.

The All Whites previously faced Mexico at the historic US venue in 2010, where Mexico won 2-0 in front of a crowd of more than 90,000 fans.

All Whites head coach Darren Bazeley saw the match as a great opportunity for his side to face a top opponent in a high pressure environment.

“Should we qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2026, we are going to be playing sides that are higher ranked than us and this game, especially taking place in front of a likely huge crowd which will predominately be supporting Mexico, in one of the countries the tournament will be happening in, is a brilliant test for us.

“Not many of our squad will have played in an atmosphere like we can expect to see in this game and it will give us a great taste of what the FIFA World Cup 2026 could feel like, which is no better incentive heading into our qualifying games in October and November.

“We will likely have another game still to be announced in this window but we are now in a fortunate position of having the 2024 schedule locked in, with the W Cup alongside Egypt, Croatia and Tunisia this month, followed by the OFC Nations Cup in Vanuatu, Olympics in July, this game in September and FIFA World Cup qualifying in October and November.

“We want to take every step to make sure we are as prepared as possible come qualifying and this match schedule should put us in the best place to perform.”


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